Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. (ESV)
Rejoice. In the Lord. This is a them throughout Paul's entire epistle to the church at Philippi. He takes a moment here to say it again. Rejoice. He adds the words "in the Lord." As we have previously considered, joy is a state that we choose to live in, that is not based on circumstances. This stands firmly against "happiness" which is circumstantial and fleeting.
I believe that there is a deep part of us that longs for joy, yet many settle for chasing moments of happiness. A night of drinking provides temporal happiness, but the reality of life comes harshly back in the morning. A vacation, an expensive vacation, or even a nice home are all temporal examples of happiness. None of these things satisfy our deepest longings.
Paul not only says that we should pursue joy. He tells us exactly where we will find it; in the Lord. When we come to a reality that the Creator of the universe knows us intimately and loves us it enables us to trust him to give us all that we need. There is no one who knows our deepest concerns more than the one who made us.
The world is going to tempt us with chasing after things that will never satisfy our deepest longings. The Creator says to us: "Do you want forgiveness of sins? I have given you my Son. Do you want to be free of the fear of death? I give you eternal life. Do you want direction in every decision that you make? You have my Holy Spirit." Rejoice. In the Lord.
What are you chasing after? Are you seeking happiness which is here today and gone tomorrow? Pursue joy. You will find it only in the Lord.
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