VOICE OF HOPE
19 September 2022
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again, I say, Rejoice.
In this Scripture, Paul tells us to rejoice in the Lord always meaning we are to rejoice in the Lord in every and any circumstance whether good or bad. Was Paul a man who did not know what it meant to go through trying times? Was Paul a man that did not understand what it meant to suffer? Certainly not! On the contrary, Paul was one of the great men of God we read about in the Bible, that suffered more than any for his faith in Christ.
I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance, and need.
In the above Scripture, we read that Paul says that he has learned the secret of facing plenty and of suffering hunger, of having an abundance and being in need. What was this secret, that Paul was speaking about?
The answer is in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Paul understood that he had the strength to stand in any and every situation because of the One who strengthened Him. Paul had personal knowledge of the One in whom he found his joy, no matter the circumstance. He clearly understood that the same God that was in the midst of peace was the same God who was in the midst of the storm. The joy of the Lord truly becomes your strength when you truly believe God as the Lord your Provider when you are in lack or hungry, or the Lord your Healer when you are sick or in pain, or the Lord your Peace when everything around you is in a state of turmoil.
It is important that we note that Paul clearly states that he LEARNED, the secret. How did Paul learn? He had to be in lack and hungry to know and experience the Lord as His provider. He had to be sick and in pain to know and experience the Lord as His healer. He had to experience times of turmoil to know the Lord as his peace. Paul had to experience every kind of circumstance to know the Lord as the answer to his need. At the end of Paul's life, his faith was perfected, and he lacked nothing, meaning that no circumstance could make Paul weaken his faith or ever turn his back on Christ! Should we desire to walk as Paul unshaken and unmoved it will require that we also learn the secret of his strength and his joy through many different circumstances, some good and some bad.
So, what did Paul mean when he boldly declared that we should rejoice in the Lord always? He was saying that the circumstance we find ourselves in should not dictate the joy we have or the peace we feel. Our joy should be in the Lord whom we know is the answer to our circumstances and therefore we have all the hope that no matter where we find ourselves the strength of the Lord will get us through, and the answer will certainly come!
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