Reasons to Rejoice

Text: Philippians 4:4

Why does Paul tell the brethren in Philippi to rejoice? It is easy to be distracted by the negative things in this life (Job 14:1), which are a threat to our spiritual wellbeing (Luke 8:14). We may suffer pain, endure hardship and loss, be persecuted, etc. We may not always be happy, but we must always rejoice. This lesson – though certainly not exhaustive – covers several reasons to rejoice.

We Have Been Forgiven

  • Discouraging to think of our past, mistakes, sins, weaknesses – rejoice: we have forgiveness in Christ
  • Remember why forgiveness is important (Isaiah 59:2; 1 John 1:5) – the blood of Christ makes forgiveness possible (Ephesians 1:7)
  • We’re forgiven when we’re baptized (Acts 2:38; 22:16) – naturally, this leads to rejoicing (Acts 8:39; 16:34)

Truth is Being Proclaimed

  • Discouraging to think of error being taught – rejoice: there are hose who are proclaiming the truth
  • One characteristic of love – it “rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6)
  • God’s word leads to salvation (Romans 1:16) – therefore, we ought to rejoice whenever truth is proclaimed (Philippians 1:18)

Others are Coming to Christ

  • Discouraging to see people indifferent to truth, following error – rejoice: some are obeying the gospel
  • Many were converted in Antioch (Acts 11:21) – this caused Barnabas to rejoice (Acts 11:23); this should be our standard reaction when we hear of souls being converted (Acts 15:3)
  • In addition to this, when Christians fall away and then return, we should rejoice (2 Corinthians 7:9; Luke 15:7)

Others are Being Faithful to Christ

  • Discouraging to see brethren who fall away or who are not committed – rejoice: many are faithful
  • Hearing of brethren standing firm should cause us to rejoice (Colossians 2:5; 3 John 4)
  • Even if we feel isolated and alone, we can rejoice that others who we may not even know about are being faithful (1 Kings 19:14,18)

Others are Rejoicing

  • The world wants us to be discouraged when others rejoice (jealousy) – rejoice: when others rejoice, we should too (Romans 12:15)
  • We are not in competition with one another (Proverbs 22:2)
  • As Christians, we are all one body in Christ (Romans 12:5) – so we should rejoice together (1 Corinthians 12:26)

We Share a Common Bond

  • Discouraging to be outsiders, hated by the world – rejoice: common bond (brotherhood) in Christ
  • Rejoice for the unity that exists among believers (Philippians 2:2)
  • Rejoice because of the relationships we have with brethren (Philippians 4:10; 2 Timothy 1:4) and for the love that brethren show to one another (Philemon 7; 2 Corinthians 7:13)

We Suffer for the Cause of Christ

  • Discouraging to be persecuted – rejoice: worthy to suffer for the name of Christ (Acts 5:41)
  • The reward for this is eternal salvation (1 Peter 4:13; Hebrews 10:34; Matthew 5:10-12)
  • The testing of our faith helps make us perfect and complete (James 1:2-4)

We Have a Home in Heaven

  • Discouraging to deal with pain, loss, hardships of life – rejoice: we have a home in heaven
  • Rejoice in hope (Romans 12:12) – we suffer in this life, so we long for the reward of the next life (2 Corinthians 5:1-4); in the end, this is what matters (Luke 10:17,20)
  • We may suffer in this life, but we should rejoice because of eternal life (1 Peter 1:5-9; Revelation 21:4)

Conclusion

  • Keep things in perspective (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
  • Do not let the burdens of this life distract you from rejoicing in the spiritual blessings from God

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