February 5, 2020
A Place of Safety
Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe. Philippians 3:1 NKJV
Friend to Friend
Most of us crave safety. We want kids to be safe, not reckless (or injured!). Bike riding requires a helmet. River rafting requires a life jacket. We buckle up in cars. We wear closed toe shoes when hiking. We don’t jump off ladders. You get the picture.
Kids don’t always remember to do these things, so they must be reminded, and reminded, and reminded again.
Kids aren’t the only ones who need safety reminders. Adults do too. In today’s truth, we read what the Apostle Paul wanted to emphasize to keep the Philippian believers safe. This reminder didn’t have to do with protective gear, but rather the protective attitude of rejoicing. He says in effect, “Rejoice in the Lord! This will keep you safe!”
The Amplified Bible says it this way, “Finally, my fellow believers, continue to rejoice and delight in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble for me, and it is a safeguard for you.”
Instead of putting our confidence in the flesh, we are to put our confidence in God. When we rejoice in what God has done, instead of what we have done, it keeps us safe.
When we rejoice in God and all He has done for us and who He is, it keeps us safe from:
Fear – “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” – Psalm 27:1 NIV
Anxiety – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” – Philippians 4:6 NIV
Loneliness – “God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.’” – Hebrews 13:5-6
Despair – “Rejoice, you nations, with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants; he will take vengeance on his enemies and make atonement for his land and people.” – Deuteronomy 32:43
This wasn’t the first time Paul was writing the instruction to rejoice. Yet he didn’t mind the repetition one bit. Paul thought to rejoice was a truth worth repeating, because it was a truth that would keep his beloved friends safe.
My family was waiting to board a long flight from the East Coast to the West Coast when I noticed a red-haired mom with her kids. She was wearing a baby in a sling and holding hands with a toddler. Her baby cried like everyone else’s at the gate, but there was something odd about this mom. Unlike the other passengers, she was smiling. She was happy. Was she not aware that she should be stressed out of her mind traveling with two kids under three years old? Other moms were shushing their kids, chasing their toddlers, and nervously grabbing snacks to appease.
Granted, maybe that happy mom was born with a sunnier disposition or a chill personality. But I daresay she made a choice to rejoice. She made a conscious effort not to freak out, but to simply rejoice and enjoy the moments to the best of her ability. Even in an airport with crying little ones!
So rejoice…no matter what circumstance you find yourself in today. Perhaps you are the one who needs to hear that reminder today to “rejoice in the Lord.” Or maybe you are the one who will tell someone else today “rejoice in the Lord.” Either way, it’s a truth worth repeating again and again.
Dear Jesus, I rejoice in Your love and provision for me. I will join the Apostle Paul and repeat again and again, “I will rejoice in the Lord!” I know that even in my trials, You are at work. I rejoice in how You are redeeming and shaping my life. I rejoice that my name is written in the Lamb’s book of life.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Usually do you have the attitude of rejoicing or the attitude of complaining? How can you increase the rejoice factor in your life?
What are three reasons you can rejoice today because of God?
More from the Girlfriends
Being a mom can be discouraging as you battle over screen time, homework, or eating vegetables. How can you rejoice regardless as a mom? Arlene’s book 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom will help you find your joy and smile again.