Although there may be struggles in our lives, we are commanded to rejoice despite tough circumstances. Paul, when speaking to the Philippians, shares that he had experienced great trials and persecutions throughout his ministry. Given the chance to speak, however, Paul encourages others to do as he has done.
“Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.”—Philippians 4.1
Throughout the Believer’s life there are seasons of loneliness, where God asks us to stand with Him alone. Sometimes this is very painful, because relationships we had relied on in the past are no longer able to meet our needs. God requires that we grow in greater intimacy with Him, not as a punishment, but as a unique opportunity to mature in Him—our true source of love, protection and provision. He alone is our salvation.
“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”—Philippians 4.4
This would be a tall order coming from almost anyone else… would it not? But Paul, through these trials, is sharing a key to his survival here.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”—Philippians 4.6
Next, Paul encourages us to make our requests known to God with thanksgiving. Many may find it difficult to be thankful during certain seasons of their life. However, yet again, Paul is asking us to do the opposite of what our carnal soul would normally do in bad situations.
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 4.7
When we are able to set aside our emotions and focus our attention on the God of the universe, we remember that our God is not a God of chaos. As we rejoice and give thanks we shift atmospheres of fear and confusion into places of faith—with peace being the end result.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”—Philippians 4.8
Yet again, we are given keys to living a successful life. Why does he ask us to think on “these things”, because they are reflections of our Father in Heaven. When our eyes are on the Father’s good character it is hard to become dismayed by outside circumstances.
“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”—Philippians 4.10
The result of doing this is again a promise of peace, but even more exciting is the promise that the God of peace, the God of the universe, will be with us through it all.
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”—Philippians 4.11-12
Paul gets very real here. He explains that it hasn’t always been easy, but when he followed the above principles through it all he was able to live content.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.”—Philippians 4.13
And when he didn’t think that he could go on, Christ strengthened him. Can’t you just hear him testifying about the miraculous love of God that stayed with him throughout his travels abroad preaching the Gospel?
“Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.”—Philippians 4.15-17
Then he expresses gratitude to the Philippians who went out of their way to support his ministry, even when it wasn’t the popular thing to do. Paul states that they were the only one who brought their tithe to the apostle. He reiterates that although he knows God is his ultimate provision, that he also understands that when a gift is sown into the kingdom it reaps a Kingdom reward. Paul desires that all the surrounding congregations might prosper by unlocking the key principle of reaping and sowing into their spiritual covering.
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 4.19
As we continue to walk out this awesome season of Jubilee together, we encourage you to strengthen your resolve in the Lord to finish… and finish well. Although there may be times where you are struggling to understand why things are playing out in the way that they are, continue to bring your prayers to the Lord with thanksgiving. Allow the Lord to be your peace in good and bad times, continuing to sow your finances, gifts, and talents into the Kingdom of God with great expectation of reaping a harvest.
God is a God of break through! At Curt Landry Ministries we are looking forward to hearing the amazing testimonies of God’s goodness during this Jubilee year, 5776.
If you are looking for a congregation to call home, please join us LIVE STREAM, or join us in person at House of David, in Fairland, Oklahoma. Please join us as we continue Kingdom work throughout the nation of Israel by sowing a seed here.