Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
Philippians 4:4 NRSV
When we want people to comprehend something, we use repetition. The human brain needs time to understand ideas, so hearing an idea repeated helps reinforce its importance. As a student taking notes, anything the professor repeated, I made sure to capture because usually, it would end up on a test.
In this letter to the church in Philippi, Paul wants to reinforce the idea of rejoicing. Sitting in jail in Rome, he wasn't necessarily rejoicing over his conditions. No, Paul was telling them to rejoice in the Holy Spirit. Regardless of what is happening in our lives, we have the joy of knowing Christ is with us; He will never leave us or forsake us (Deu 31:6). Knowing this, Paul sitting in jail and facing certain death, could rejoice.
Holy compassionate and loving God, we rejoice in you. We have your assurance that you will not leave us. When our world turns upside down, you are our constant. Your gift of the Holy Spirit remains in us, giving us strength, courage, guidance, and peace. Lord, it is only in you that we can rejoice. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
How will you rejoice today?