Rejoice Always! ...Really?
Paul’s main message in Philippians chapter four is to rejoice and to be cheerful and joyous in every season of life! Do not be anxious or worried about a thing; but instead, pray with faith-filled requests and overflowing gratitude. For Paul to advocate such a positive outlook is impressive when you consider where he was when he documented these thoughts. Paul was detained in the dingy dungeons of a Mamertine prison awaiting a sentence of death by decapitation.
This is usually not the time for someone to write a letter themed on rejoicing, but Paul would beg to differ. Even when life’s circumstances would take a turn for the worse, Paul’s perception and spiritual maturity would seem to be getting better. That is why we did not find him soaking in discouragement or wallowing in self-pity. He does not use his only line of communication to convey grievances about the conditions of his stay. With the absence of windows, light, and indoor plumbing, and having to sleep in proximity to stenches of urine and who knows what, you would think that Paul would have composed complaints to the readers of his letter. He could have penned: “This is a cruel, undeserved ending for someone who has spent years of dedicated service to the name of Jesus.” On the contrary, he uses his energy and time to magnify God and the good news of Jesus Christ rather than exalt his problems.
What will you decide to "exalt" this week?