Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Are you old enough to remember writing or receiving handwritten thank-you notes? Those cards with polite words of thanksgiving to a host, friend, or associate used to be quite common. I still mail them occasionally. But judging by recipients’ surprised reactions, it’s not so common to receive such notes these days. We rush through our lives forgetting to thank people who show love and care for us.
The book of Philippians can be described as a long and amazing thank-you letter. The apostle Paul wanted to express his gratitude to the believers in the city of Philippi for the gift they had sent after learning of his imprisonment for preaching the message of Christ. Led by the Spirit, Paul also sought to encourage them to stand firm in persecution and to rejoice, regardless of their circumstances. What a great way to say thank-you!
The unyielding joy Paul shares with his readers is based on the great truth “The Lord is near.” Our loving God is never far away from his children. He is standing with us in our suffering. He knows what we are going through, and he is always ready to guide and comfort us, even in the most difficult situations. Nothing can separate us from his wonderful love!
Do you know this gracious God? Are you thankful to him?
Merciful Lord, fill our hearts with godly joy and thanksgiving. Teach us to rely on you even in the most difficult situations. In the name of our Savior, Jesus, we pray. Amen.
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