Rev. Robert Hudson, Pastor, Littleby Baptist Church
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:4-7
The Peace that only comes from being a child of God. The Peace which surpasses all understanding. These words were likely a great encouragement to the Philippians as they were facing persecution. Many of the people in Philippi were pro-Rome and anything that even hinted at being against the Roman way of life would be squashed. The religious Jews were saying that Paul and those following Jesus were encouraging people to resist Rome. This resulted in persecution, discouragement, and disappointment as people tried to share the Love of Jesus with others.
These words should be a great encouragement to followers of Jesus today. Church attendance continues to decline, people are indifferent if not hostile to the things we believe. Our persecution is different than what the Philippians dealt with, but we are seeing more and more of it. That is why we need to take Paul’s words to heart.
Paul encourages us to Rejoice, to take delight in our God and the things He is doing in our lives. The good things may be hard to see at times, but we need to make an effort to look for them. Could be a new baby in the family, someone joining the church, or seeing someone really begin to understand who Jesus is. Sometimes we have to pause and look at the flowers that are blooming, the refreshing rain, and the sunrise each day.
For the complete column, see this weeks edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard