This post is an excerpt from a sermon I preached in 2007. Going along with the theme of happiness, I decided to post these notes. The text is Philippians 4:4-9.
Our lives are full of things that make it tough to focus on God and spend time with Him. We are easily distracted by our duties here on earth. Our many responsibilities can sometimes seem to get in the way of a deep relationship with God. Philippians 4:4-9 is a message of encouragement for God’s people to remember God through all circumstances. As we go through our lives we should keep in mind the exhortations Paul includes in this letter to the Philippians, which will help us to live a devoted life, both in our private and corporate relationship with God.
Paul tells the Philippian Church to rejoice in the Lord in all circumstances. In happiness, in sadness, in life, in death, in health, in sickness, in everything you do, rejoice in the Lord. Paul is not encouraging us to rejoice because we are sad, sick, or experiencing the death of a loved one. He is encouraging us to remember God, and praise His name, no matter what circumstance we are in, for our hope and life is in the Lord, and all these other things will one day pass away.
Paul encourages the believers to put into practice what they have been taught by him. It is important to notice that Paul includes both his words and actions, as though there would be no difference between the two. The lesson here is that we need to be sure that our words and actions are no different from each other. What we say has a much greater influence on others when what we do lines up with our words. This is another way to have peace and comfort in the Lord; by keeping close to His word, in the way we think, talk and act.
These words are meant to give you a sense of peace and comfort. When life gets busy and full of things that appear to be getting in the way of a feeling of closeness with God, rejoice in the Lord, pray, dwell on excellent things, put into practice the good you have been taught and the peace of God will be with you.