WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JUNE 22 2022
TOPIC: WHATEVER HAPPENS, REJOICE IN THE LORD!
BY T.O. BANSO
“Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe” (Philippians 3:1 New King James Version).
In life, we go through both negative and positive experiences. It is not all our experiences that are pleasant. Sometimes we have reasons to celebrate. Other times, we mourn. Sometimes some things happen to us that boost our faith in God. Other times, some events are trials of faith. But what happens to us is not as important as our attitude to them. We must cultivate the right attitude to life occurrences. One of the attitudes to cultivate is rejoicing in the Lord no matter what happens.
Whatever happens, rejoice in the Lord. Whether they are positive or negative, rejoice in the Lord. Rejoicing in the Lord presupposes that you are already in Him. In other words, you are already a child of God. You have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Therefore, you are expected to live your life in Him. Paul says in Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28a).
In victories or defeats, rejoice in the Lord. Undoubtedly, it is easier to rejoice in the Lord in victories than to rejoice in the Lord in defeats. But we must cultivate this attitude for the sake of our faith in Christ. Some negative and painful events of life tend to attack our faith and want us to forsake the Lord. This is very important to note because, more than ever before, we live in a dangerous time when it is becoming more difficult to be a Christian.
The Apostle Paul warned, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come” (2 Timothy 3:1 New King James Version). The Living Bible renders the verse thus: “You may as well know this too, Timothy, that in the last days it is going to be very difficult to be a Christian.” You must cultivate the attitude of rejoicing in the Lord to survive this season. Talking about himself, Paul said he was sorrowful, yet always rejoicing (2 Corinthians 6:10). Whatever happens, rejoice in the Lord.
This does not mean you are rejoicing over what the devil is throwing at you. You are not rejoicing over losses or misfortune. But you are rejoicing in the Lord as a weapon for victory. Nehemiah 8:10b says, “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength” (New King James Version). The devil may cause you pain through some things that happen to you but choose to rejoice in the Lord. You may not have control over what happens to you but you can either choose to rejoice in the Lord or continue to sorrow as unbelievers do. Some life occurrences are extremely painful such as the death of loved ones but we must not sorrow as non-believers do.
Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus” (New King James Version).
Whatever happens, rejoice in the Lord. Paul was in prison in Rome when he wrote the book of Philippians to the church at Philippi, a church he and his associates founded during his second missionary journey. Paul wrote the letter to thank this church for the gift they had sent to him through Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25; 4:18).
But Paul also encouraged the church in the letter. And you would wonder whether it was the person in prison that should be encourage those who were enjoying their freedom or it should be the other way round! That tells you the positive attitude to life that Paul had cultivated. Those who don’t have this kind of attitude would, under serious persecution or trials, renounce their faith or go into depression.
Paul wrote to the Philippian Christians: “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe” (Philippians 3:1 New King James Version). This doesn’t sound like the words of someone whose spirit had been crushed by his incarceration. The New Living Translation renders it thus, “Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith.”
Whatever happens, you need to rejoice in the Lord to safeguard your faith. The devil will throw things at you to attack your faith and make you accuse God or lose your faith in Him. Some have renounced their faith because of trials or persecutions. Some people felt disappointed because of delayed answers to prayers or suffering. Suffering is not enjoyable. Poverty is not pleasurable. Persecution is not satisfying. Nevertheless, the children of God must rejoice in the Lord, as we face them, to protect our faith.
We must rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and continue steadfastly in prayer (Romans 12:12). The Apostle James said, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4 New King James Version).
This scripture does not say rejoice when things of joy happen to you. Anyone can do that. But it says to count it all joy when you fall into various trials. The Living Bible renders it thus: “Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.”
The New International Version puts the verse this way: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Don’t let life’s troubles defeat you. Rejoice in the Lord. This is not possible through human efforts. You must rely on the Holy Spirit.
In Philippians 1:12-14, the Bible shows us Paul’s perspective on his troubles, which could make him rejoice in the Lord as he faced them. Paul said, “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 New King James Version).
Whatever happens, rejoice in the Lord. Just like Paul wrote the letter to the Philippians in prison in Rome, he also wrote the letter to the Colossians there. In Colossians 1:24a, he wrote, “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you.” Rejoice in the Lord whatever happens. Protect your faith. Rejoice always (1 Thessalonians 5:16).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, I receive Your help to rejoice in the Lord whatever happens. Help me to count it all joy when I fall into various trials. Father, I pray that every child of God going through trials and persecutions will receive divine empowerment to rejoice in the Lord and will not lose their faith in God.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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