Rejoice in the Lord Always (Philippians 4:4)
Topic: Philippians Scripture: Philippians 4:4
First Scripture Reading: Exodus 20:1-17; Romans 13:8-10
Second Scripture Reading: John 15:1-17
Sermon Text: Philippians 4:4
Paul’s command that we rejoice in the Lord is firmly rooted in the Old Testament. Habakkuk wrote about rejoicing even in the midst of terrible circumstances:
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. (Habakkuk 3:17-19)
Habakkuk looked past his circumstances to the God who is gracious and kind, who bears us up, and who works all things for his glory and our good. As Christians living in the New Covenant and knowing that Christ died, that he was raised, and that he is now enthroned in glory, we have every reason to rejoice in him.
1. For review, read Philippians 4:2-3. Why did Paul want these two women to reconcile? Why is it significant that he added the phrase “whose names are written in the book of life”?
2. What does it mean to rejoice according to Psalm 5:11; 13:5; 31:7; 35:9; 97:1; 118:24; Isaiah 61:10; Zechariah 9:9; Luke 10:20; Acts 5:41; Revelation 19:7? What reasons do these verses give us to rejoice?
3. Why is it important to know Paul’s situation while he was writing this letter to the Philippian Christians? How does it affect how you read Philippians 4:4 and apply it to your life?
4. How might our rejoicing in the Lord be a means of witness and evangelism? What does true joy in the Lord look like in our daily lives?
5. In preparation for next week, read Philippians 4:5-7. What do you think “reasonableness” means and why is it an important characteristic for Christians? What do you think is the connection between the phrase “The Lord is at hand” and verses 6-7?