Philippians is a book with a message for Christians who could potentially fall into despair because of their circumstances.Things looked pretty hopeless for Paul. His hopes and aspirations are dashed, he finds himself in chains and his future survival is uncertain. Yet in the face of all this he pens a book about joy. 16 x in this short little letter paul will exhort the philippians to rejoice or to be joyful. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Phil 4:4). If Paul could rejoice in these worst of circumstances, then how much more should we be able to rejoice in the midst of our own trials and hardships. Paul teaches us how to have joy and encouragement in the face of great trials and difficult circumstances. Good or bad. . . tragic or happy. . . lockdown or no lockdown. . . Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Paul sees our trials and hardships in this life, great or small, as opportunities to follow the path of Christ, who died and rose again. In Philippians, Paul teaches us the art of dying and rising again as the secret to contentment and joy in the Lord regardless of our circumstances, so we too can say in all things, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice”.
February 7: Philippians 3 (Alan Martin)