“Rejoice in the Lord always.” Just before Paul’s admonition about things on which to meditate, he gives us some basic Christian living practices. This one is found in Philippians 4:4. There is a difference between “Rejoicing in the Lord” and “rejoicing about the Lord.” Rejoicing about Him would involve remembering the things He has done and is doing. We rejoice that He gave His life to provide salvation. We rejoice that He is preparing a place for us in heaven. There are many things about Jesus which give us reason to rejoice.
Rejoicing in the Lord sounds like position or location. We put our faith in the person of Jesus our Savior. Our confidence rests in Him. Yes, we have salvation because of what He has done, but we trust not in an event but in a person. Romans 6:11 says, “So you too, consider yourselves to be dead in sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Again we find in Romans 8:1, “Therefore there is now no condemnation at all for those who are in Christ Jesus.” We literally live and have our being in Him.
Speaking of our position in Jesus, scripture implores us, “As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him” (Colossians 2:6). We are no longer living our daily lives outside of the realm and will of our Lord but we are surrounded by His presence. If we can imagine walking with Jesus holding His hand, can we also picture our life totally in Him?
John provides this beautiful truth about our position in Jesus. “By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has give us of His Spirit, and we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God” (1 John 4:12-15)
“Rejoice in the Lord.” We abide in Him. We live and breath in Him. Our life and eternity is secure because of our position in Him. This was Jesus’ prayer to the Father before He was crucified. “… that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:21).
How do we live according to Philippians 4:4? “Rejoice in the Lord always.” This is not a requirement that we constantly think about all that Jesus has done and is doing in our life. We are certainly grateful for those things. What we are instructed to do, however, is to rejoice that we are in Jesus. Our life is wrapped up in Him. We are one with the Father and with the Son. His Holy Spirit lives inside us. No matter what happens in life, we have our position in Jesus. No matter what happens to this physical body, we are one with God.
Rejoice in Him! Just as you would rejoice when wrapped in the arms of someone who loves you, rejoice in the Lord! Always! And remember, “I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, … shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). In Him! We are in Him!