Rejoice Always! I find it remarkable that some families begin preparing their Thanksgiving meals in October. With that in mind, shouldn’t we also prepare our hearts early by rejoicing?
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.” 1
A French Connection…
Recently, I was blessed to hear from Rev. Bruno, who is fighting the good fight of faith in France.
“I wish to testify to you how much I give thanks to God for your journey and the way in which the Lord has transformed you. Your testimony touched my heart and soul.
“Even if we want to forget the past, it is necessary to learn from it. Those who are called to the right of Christ will understand your testimony and your radical change. The others will only see the old “Tex.” This is so and you should not be discouraged because the Lord has been so treated.
“Time has passed and we are not always strong and in difficult times it is good that you do not lose the joy of having become a son of God. True freedom is not focused on being outside… you can be outside and be a prisoner of many things, be slaves… but true freedom is to let Christ be master of your soul. Thanks Charles of reminding us of the Way. Continue to follow in until the end. “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride” (Ecc. 7:8, NIV).
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Cor. 1:3,4, NIV).
Be Anxious for Nothing…
Rev. Bruno’s letter is an encouraging word from the Lord for this specific season of my life. The Holy Spirit uses those who know God to comfort those who are in trouble. We need comfort during these troublesome times, and truly, Jesus is that “bridge over troubled waters” [lyrics from the ‘60s], Who sent the Holy Spirit to comfort us through God’s Word.
To the Philippians, the Holy Spirit spoke through the apostle Paul, saying: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2
Jesus Brought Peace and Contentment…
The precious blood of Jesus Christ is the most powerful weapon to guard our hearts and minds against anxiety, providing peace in the midst of trouble. Faith in Jesus’ blood placed us in right standing with God for prevailing prayer and supplication with thanksgiving., and victory over emotional insecurity. Jesus is our peace “which passes all understanding,” while trusting the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s perfect peace. “You [God] will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” 3
The apostle Paul exhorts us to think on “…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. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you…for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” 4 Spirit-filled thoughts bring contentment, fulfilling the desires of our heart with love, peace and joy, through faith in God’s grace.
Jesus Brought Ability and Supply…
Grace is God’s undeserved favor; His ability working in us to do what we can’t do in our own power. Furthermore, “…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” 5 While in prison, the apostle Paul testified “Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” 6 Paul asked us to learn from him, even to imitate him. 7 So at all times, proclaim: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!”
Like Rev. Bruno wrote, “…true freedom is to let Christ be the master of your soul,” especially in times of great need, when it seems that all hope for supply is gone. Even in the worst of times, we cry out, “…my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” 8 There is no giving up, the best is yet to come; so let us rejoice! “Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.” 9
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” 10
A Prayer for You…
Lord Jesus, I thank You for the cross. I thank You that when You died for me, Your blood cleansed me from all my unrighteousness and the sins of my entire life. You are my Lord and Savior. I give You all my addictions today. I am sick and tired of being defeated and condemned by the accuser. Today, I confess that because of the blood of Jesus Christ, I am right now the righteousness of God. By the supernatural strength and power of the Holy Spirit Who is present to convince me of my righteousness in Christ, I will be reminded every day that I am the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus. Amen! 11
Scripture References (NKJV):
1) Phil. 4:4,5
2) Phil 4:6,7
3) Isa. 26:3 NLT
4) Phil. 4:8,9,11b
5) Neh. 8:10
6) Phil. 4:12b, 13
7) 1 Cor. 4:16
8) Phil. 4:19
9) Phil. 4:20
10) Rom 12:14,15
11) 2 Cor. 5:21