Choose Joy over Worry

Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7)

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” (Matthew 6:25)
Many people are worried about something. We are wrestling with anxious thoughts and feelings; it is like a low-grade fever in our hearts and minds that we can’t seem to shake. We are worried about our kids, our jobs, our health, our finances, and many other things. As followers of Jesus, we should not approach worry the same way the world does.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ is telling us not to worry. (Matthew 6:25-34) Worrying is futile and it accomplishes absolutely nothing. Worry, fear, and anxiety are placed in our lives by the evil one (the devil), and we must not let him control our lives.  Instead, choose the joy that only Christ can give.

As believers, we should be living differently than everyone else. The way we interact with people, the way we handle the circumstances we are walking through, and the way we navigate tough seasons should set us apart. Therefore, we have an opportunity to point others to Jesus as they watch us go through difficult times.

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul is saying to rejoice in the Lord always – not sometimes, not most of the time, not when it is easy or convenient, but all of the time. Not only does he encourage them to rejoice, but he models this heart posture for them. As Paul was writing these words, he was sitting in prison. He had every reason to complain and doubt, and throw a fit. Instead, he chose to rejoice in the Lord.

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