Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Recently, a dear friend of mine has been challenging me with questions that shake the very foundation of our belief and I in my desire to prove my point wanted to counter rock for rock albeit in a friendly manner. His questions seemed harsh, his arguments sound and his conviction clearly evident in his unbelief and I kept seeking wisdom from the Lord to respond and all I got was calm and quiet. How can Paul encourage us to rejoice always in the face of opposition, challenges and difficulties? Could he not have encouraged us to be hopeful in trying times and rejoicing in good ones?
When we examine the life of Christ here on earth, his every moment seemed filled with challenges. He was born from a virgin which is a hotly debated subject, he was born poor which is unlike any king, his father was a poor carpenter, he did not have any fancy education and was from a lowly town, he grew up in the face of opposition from his own people and finally died by their own hands. Through all the challenges, his strength was his faith in God the Father and his only desire was to accomplish his father’s will. When I wanted to counter each question, the only thought that came to mind was to respond in gentleness and not try to make sense of God to man but instead just direct man to God. I do know that it was God who reached my wicked soul and not man and so I pray for my dear friend that he will find his answers in God alone. Are you anxious about anything, are you challenged? I urge you to look at the cross and find hope in Christ who overcame this world for you. Lets rejoice in Jesus daily!
In His Loving Service,