Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
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4:2-9 Let believers be of one mind, and ready to help each other. As the apostle had found the benefit of their assistance, he knew how comfortable it would be to his fellow-labourers to have the help of others. Let us seek to give assurance that our names are written in the book of life. Joy in God is of great consequence in the Christian life; and Christians need to be again and again called to it. It more than outweighs all causes for sorrow. Let their enemies perceive how moderate they were as to outward things, and how composedly they suffered loss and hardships. The day of judgment will soon arrive, with full redemption to believers, and destruction to ungodly men. There is a care of diligence which is our duty, and agrees with a wise forecast and due concern; but there is a care of fear and distrust, which is sin and folly, and only perplexes and distracts the mind. As a remedy against perplexing care, constant prayer is recommended. Not only stated times for prayer, but in every thing by prayer. We must join thanksgivings with prayers and supplications; not only seek supplies of good, but own the mercies we have received. God needs not to be told our wants or desires; he knows them better than we do; but he will have us show that we value the mercy, and feel our dependence on him. The peace of God, the comfortable sense of being reconciled to God, and having a part in his favour, and the hope of the heavenly blessedness, are a greater good than can be fully expressed. This peace will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus; it will keep us from sinning under troubles, and from sinking under them; keep us calm and with inward satisfaction. Believers are to get and to keep a good name; a name for good things with God and good men. We should walk in all the ways of virtue, and abide therein; then, whether our praise is of men or not, it will be of God. The apostle is for an example. His doctrine and life agreed together. The way to have the God of peace with us, is to keep close to our duty. All our privileges and salvation arise in the free mercy of God; yet the enjoyment of them depends on our sincere and holy conduct. These are works of God, pertaining to God, and to him only are they to be ascribed, and to no other, neither men, words, nor deeds.Rejoice in the Lord alway - see the notes at Philippians 3:1. It is the privilege of Christians to do this, not at certain periods and at distant intervals, but at all times they may rejoice that there is a God and Saviour; they may rejoice in the character, law, and government of God - in his promises, and in communion with him. The Christian, therefore, may be, and should be, always a happy man. If everything else changes, yet the Lord does not change; if the sources of all other joy are dried up, yet this is not; and there is not a moment of a Christian's life in which he may not find joy in the character, law, and promises of God.
Rejoice in the Lord alway,.... This is a repetition of the exhortation in the preceding chapter; See Gill on Philippians 3:1; with this addition "alway"; for there is always cause and matter for rejoicing in Christ, even in times of affliction, distress, and persecution; since he is always the same; his grace is always sufficient; his blood has a continual virtue in it, and always speaks for peace and pardon; his righteousness is an everlasting one, and so is his salvation, and such is his love; though some join this word with what follows,

and again, I say, rejoice; this is what was continually inculcated by him, as being of great importance and use for the comfort of believers, and the honour of Christ.

{3} Rejoice in the {d} Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

(3) He adds particular exhortations: and the first is, that the joy of the Philippians should not be hindered by any afflictions that the wicked imagine and work against them.

(d) So is the joy of the world distinguished from our joy.

4. (Isa 61:10.)

alway—even amidst the afflictions now distressing you (Php 1:28-30).

again—as he had already said, "Rejoice" (Php 3:1). Joy is the predominant feature of the Epistle.

I say—Greek, rather, "I will say."

Rejoice in the Lord alway - Be continually happy; but this happiness you can find only in the Lord. Genuine happiness is spiritual; as it can only come from God, so it infallibly tends to him. The apostle repeats the exhortation, to show, not only his earnestness, but also that it was God's will that it should be so, and that it was their duty as well as interest. 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Compare Php 3:1. That a prisoner, soon to be tried for his life, should not only rejoice but bid others to rejoice, shows the power of the gospel to comfort one who has made Christ all in all.
Philippians 4:3
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