It can be hard to find much to be happy about these days.
Information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has overtaken our televisions, radios, podcasts, newspapers and social media feeds. Every day, we hear or read about more confirmed cases and more deaths. We are continually confronted with the reality of unemployment and economic downturn. We are advised or ordered to stay home and away from each other.
All of that is, quite frankly, depressing — which is why I find the book of Philippians to be incredibly uplifting in this time of crisis.
Philippians has earned the nickname “the book of encouragement” because of its overarching theme of joy. In the English translation of Philippians, the word “joy” occurs five times, the word “rejoice” occurs seven times and “glad” occurs twice. All of these words call for one thing: celebration!
The amazing thing is, the apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians while he was imprisoned for his faith in Rome. Imagine: a man who was a prisoner (who was being guarded by some of Rome’s highest ranking soldiers) rejoicing!
We can learn much from Paul’s example, and especially his words in Philippians 4:4-9:
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me — practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (ESV)
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Nick Hall