In our journey to MORE in 2019, we start the first day of the year with passage that calls us to a life of joy. Philippians 4:4-9 brims with directions that will help us live the life we long to live… the abundant life Jesus died to give us – and it all starts with rejoicing a/k/a joy.
So, let’s take a look at some simply, yet profound truths about joy.
- Joy is a command. Not an option.
- Joy is a choice. Not a feeling.
- Joy is found in the Lord. Not circumstances.
Read the parallel of the NKJV and the Amplified Classic below and make a list of the commands in the passage based on the NKJV and then look at how the Amplified gives explanation to that list.
|Philippians 4:4-9 (NKJV)|
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
|Philippians 4:4-9 (Amp Classic)|
4 Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, take pleasure in Him]; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit [your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience] be known to all people. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. 7 And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].
8 Finally, [abelievers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable andworthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]. 9 The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things [in daily life], and the God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you.
Here are the commands:
- Rejoice in the Lord
- Rejoice (Notice the command is given twice which shows emphasis)
- Let your gentleness be known to all
- Be anxious for nothing
- Let your requests be made known unto God
- Meditate on these things
- Do what you’ve received from, learned from, heard and seen me (Paul) do
The result of all of doing all of these things is the one thing we all long for most in life and often times don’t even realize it.
The one thing that seems so elusive apart from Christ. The one thing our hearts ache for in this world gone wild. Peace. And not just any old peace. But the peace of God.
We actually long for two different forms of peace:
- Peace WITH God
- Peace OF God
Peace WITH God comes from a personal relationship with God at the point of salvation. It is unaltered by our behavior or our circumstances.
Peace OF God comes from walking according to God’s Word, God’s will, and God’s ways. It can be altered by our behavior and we can also allow it to be altered by our circumstances. Well, not really our circumstances, but by our own lack of faith in them.
Living it up in this life means we understand there’s so much more to this life than this life.
We choose to rejoice in all things because we know God loves us and that nothing we go through had to first be filtered through the hands of God.
We choose to be gentle so others would see the difference Jesus makes in our lives.
We choose to think on the things He’s told us to so we can have power over our thought life, which gives us power over our emotions. We don’t have to succumb to stinking thinking. We have been given the power to have victory over our thoughts.
We choose to follow godly examples so that we can mature in our walk with the Lord and experience what it is to truly live the abundant life.
We all want to live it up in this life. But living it up isn’t what the world thinks it is. There’s no peace or joy in the worldly standards of living it up.
Truly living it up means doing what God calls us to do, trusting Him in all things, choosing joy, living a godly life, and thinking on the things that keep us focused on what really matters most.
If you are struggling with your thought life, I have a free resource that I’m providing that you can download. It is a 10 step process to applying biblical principles that can help you have control over your mind.
Just click this link and download it for free today.