Theologians have often suggested this letter’s theme centers around joy. God’s grace empowers us to not only live life, but to live life well. How should we be glad and rejoice?
- vs. 12-18- Paul begins with an exhortation to ‘do everything without complaining and arguing’. Paul is clear that the Holy Spirit provides the ability to live in obedience, transformation to live purely, and the strength to serve unselfishly.
- vs. 19-30- Paul points to the testimonies of Timothy and Epaphroditus as reasons to rejoice and be glad. Timothy found joy as he looked out for the interests of others (primarily Paul). Epaphroditus had been greatly ill (vs. 27) but through God’s great mercy, he is well enough again to serve Paul’s needs. Epaphroditus finds joy through perseverance by keeping faith in Jesus through a life-threatening illness.
How does Jesus want you to be glad and rejoice today?
First, recall specific blessings in your life, and thank God for the hope that fills you in these blessings.
Then, consider the definition of rejoice. Rejoice literally means to choose a continuous feeling of joy. Examine yourself and find one area where you are lacking in joy. Repeat Philippians 4:4 over and over again, remembering the situation you are wrestling with. Choose to be glad and rejoice!