Verse for Today: Sunday, September 15, 2013
Philippians 3:1 – Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord!
The best possible message a prisoner can impart to his followers is to ask them to rejoice in their circumstances. Apostle Paul had such a message of encouragement and hope to the believers in Philippi from his dungeon. Paul had various reasons in his mind behind such a message of joy and contentment which is not a normal thing to come from a first century prisoner. Paul wanted his friends to rejoice that they could get a message from God through Paul even when he was locked up by the authorities, proving that the Word of God is not under chains. He wanted them to rejoice in their own threatening circumstances and confirmed that the followers of Jesus could rejoice in all their unfavorable situations. Paul felt that there was scope for them to rejoice because their Jesus was ruling their hearts and lives. They ought to rejoice because Epaphroditus, one of the companions of Paul, could visit them. They ought to rejoice that Timothy, another associate of Paul would possibly visit them soonest. They had reason to rejoice because they are now able to get some news about the welfare of Paul. When the Philippians receive such a joyful message from Paul, that should prompt them to rejoice. When we look at our circumstances, we might not find any earthly reason today to rejoice. But when we look at our circumstance through the eyes of Jesus we can rejoice in the hope that He gives us for a brighter tomorrow. When our Jesus is busy as our advocate before the Father in heaven that ought to encourage and strengthen us to keep on rejoicing. Our rejoicing also comes from the open Word that is made available for us to give us comfort and hope in life. It is a matter of rejoicing when we have the privilege to meet and have fellowship with other believers. Every day of our life is filled with God’s providence and care which makes us praising Him with rejoicing for all that He does for us.
Dear reader, are you being subdued by your miserable circumstances? Perhaps you are going through a rough patch in your life. You might be locked in the prisons of sickness, financial crunch, job loss, troubled family and children, loneliness and distress. But even in the midst of it all, the Spirit of joy who dwelling in your heart will rule your life if you allow Him. The Holy Spirit will empower you to climb above your difficult circumstances and fly over the darkest clouds of life. You are positionally living in the heavenly places and in the very presence of God. Your earthly cares cannot and will not reach heaven where there are no tears, pain or misery. Apostle Paul was dumped in a dungeon by the authorities, but even while there, Paul was living in heaven. He always had the vision of the glory of Jesus in his eyes which helped him to consider his life in the dungeon with all its misery a joyful momentary experience which will soon pass away. Our dark and painful situations will hide in the brightness of the hope that is laid bare before us by Jesus through His glory. The promises of God help us to fly on the wings of hope to higher spiritual altitudes and rejoice in all our situations. The presence of God helps us to forget our earthly situation, concentrate on His glory and praise Him for the joy He has invested in our hearts. Heavenly joy expressed in our lives will thus make us the best advertisement for heaven for the sake of the people around us who live in hopelessness and distress. Today let us take the challenge and rejoice.
Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Thought for Today
The wings of joy take us to higher altitudes of contentment in all our circumstances.
Prayer for Today
Dear Lord Jesus: Teach me today to rise above my miserable circumstances and praise You for all that is working in my favor. Amen!
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