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The Power of Rejoicing

By: Pastor Chris

Philippians 4:4 is one of my favorite scriptures. I am amazed by the fact that when Paul writes this letter to inspire the church at Philipi, he’s not on Capri Island or resting on the beautiful Carribean Islands. Instead he’s writing about joy from a dank and dark prison. He has every reason to be depressed and resentful, but instead he chooses to encourage the church to rejoice in the Lord. The apostle Paul did not write Philippians in response to a crisis as he did with Galatians and Colossians. Instead, he wrote to express his appreciation and affection for the Philippian believers. My question to you is whether we, as Christians, make that same conscious effort to walk in joy regardless of the circumstances and situations we’re faced with on a daily basis.

Our responsibility as a Christian should always be to shine the light of Christ (Matt 5:13-16) in our workplace, at the grocery store, at the drive-thru, the Secretary of State (especially in super long lines…smile) and so many other places. In your uncomfortable or challenging times of life do you see God or do you question if He’s there at all? The Apostle Paul admonishes believers in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

  • What is true is that God always has your best interest at heart.

  • What is noble is that we must look at every test as an opportunity for us to grow and that we can withstand any test that God allows to come into our lives. I count it a joy that God has so much trust in my ability to carry out His great work! I pray that you envision and see every challenge the same way. There is not a test that you cannot overcome!!

  • What is just is that even when things seem to be unfair God, is righteous which means that He is vindicating me and fighting on my behalf. We worry about so many things in the world that are outside of our control. We must rest in assurance that God is sovereign. He does all things well. It is this right thinking that gives us strength in our most difficult times. Remain optimistic!

  • What is pure helps us safeguard our eyes, ears, heart, and mouth gates so that we can remain free from contamination and disentangled from the bondage of sin.

  • What is lovely is that life is full of intricate details that remind us that God takes delight in our existence. Please don’t take for granted the small things like the dew on roses, fresh spring grass, mid-summer rain, gleaming stars, puffy clouds, and the chirping of birds. I am just amazed by His love and His thought process in creating such wonderful things in nature for us to enjoy.  

  • What is of good report will keep us from being overwhelmed by all of the bad news in the world. Don’t watch the evening news right before you go to bed. It will depress you. Find those good testimonies and stories; find some good news and celebrate it.

Remember, joy is not about everything going well, but it’s about knowing that everything is working out for our good. Each day make an intentional effort to experience the joy of the Lord. Live beyond your feelings. Joy is a decision. When joy is sought outward it remains elusive, but when you embrace that it’s an inward discovery rooted in your knowledge of who God is; life truly becomes full and abundant.

What event has tried to steal your joy lately? What steps can you take to help bring resolve to that situation? My challenge to you is that no matter what comes your way this week, make it a point to find a positive in the midst of the negative. Take the Apostle Paul’s advice to rejoice in the Lord. You can be as fulfilled as you choose to be, so choose joy!



Comments


By Ashton McMillan
I have been going through quite the transition at work (working retail management for the Sherwin-Williams company). Our team went from about six or seven employees all the way down to just three. One of these employees was the manager. The only faithful and reliable people left working at the store are me and two part time employees. The company I work for is open seven days a week, 13 hours a day on the week days and a total of 18 hours on the weekends. Three employees to cover all that time....yea, you do the math. It has not been easy. However I chose joy and peace in God by waking every and answering the call of duty in my current situation. After reaching out to upper level management and other stores for help it felt like I had no support. I stuck to the task anyway, not letting my work be effected. The joy came yesterday when the old manager came back and put away ALL of the inventory in the back room with the help of the other part-timer and it literally brought me to tears. I could have given up, I could have made all the excuses as to why I couldn't do it, why I wasn't the man for the task but by sticking with it God sustained me and sent help in the midst of the storm! I scheduled two interviews this week and one next week to get us some help in the store and within another two weeks the person they have chosen for the new store manager will be in place. Call me crazy but I'm believing in God that the person may even turn it down and I'll be blessed with the job :-) I'll continue to show and play inspiring music (K-Love), stay in my word and study encouraging stories, and keep my head to the hills where my strength comes from! Never give up no matter how hard the test and be happy that you've been considered! Death and life are in the power of the tongue and all things are working for your good!
By VBM Staff
Thank you Ashton for your comment! Continue to walk in the joy of the Lord as you embrace the Victorious Life.


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LET EVERY MAN GIVE ACCORDING TO THE PURPOSES IN HIS HEART...

2 CORINTHIANS 9:7

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