Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! (Philippians 4:5)
Paul encouraged the Christians in Philippi to always rejoice in the Lord. He repeated this to show how important it is. Paul wrote this letter while he was in a Roman prison awaiting trial. He had reason to rejoice in the Lord. His fellow Christians in Philippi had encouraged him with their support and generosity. “Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God” (verse 18).
To rejoice in the Lord is to be thankful no matter what the circumstance is. Paul’s letter to the Philippians was a “Thank you” letter. He used the opportunity to thank them for helping and supporting him. He wanted them to know how much he appreciated them. He didn’t complain about his situation. In fact, he put a positive spin to the whole thing. He wrote, “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear” (Philippians 1:12-14).
He didn’t want the church to feel discouraged or sad because he was in prison. Even though it wasn’t certain what would become of Paul—whether he would live or die, he still rejoiced because Christ was being preached to people. Despite the chains, God’s Word was being preached. It was not in chains. Paul had reason to rejoice. Even while he was in prison God was still using him.
Paul gave us the secret to how to rejoice in the Lord no matter what. “…for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. 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” (Philippians 4:11-13). Learn to be content and believe that you can do anything because of Christ who gives you the strength. When you do these things, you are able to rejoice in the Lord at all times.