“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! ... Do not be anxious about anything.” (Philippians 4:4,6, English Standard Version).
These Bible verses seem impossible to live out. “Rejoice in the Lord, sometimes.” I think I could do that. “Rejoice occasionally” sounds even more reasonable. But “Do not be anxious”? Come on.
Not knowing the outcome of my circumstances makes this tough. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had periods in my life when I would have been happy if I could find even a few moments when I wasn’t anxious.
I once heard a great sermon about these verses. The pastor showed a clip from the movie “To End All Wars,” which is about prisoners of war at the end of World War II. At the beginning of the clip, the inmates look miserable, downcast, discouraged and near death. The situation seems truly hopeless.
All of a sudden, planes fly over and drop papers that announce the end of the war, and, instantly, everything changes. The prisoners jump around in celebration, hugging each other. Nothing has changed in the camp. They haven’t been rescued yet. They are still stuck in a remote place. Yet everything changes because rescue is just around the corner.
What if we lived like rescue is just around the corner? Even though our daily circumstances are sometimes difficult, the Bible says that we can know the end of our story.
A man named Paul wrote the words “Rejoice in the Lord always” from jail. So we can see that circumstances have nothing to do with rejoicing. Paul knew that jail was just temporary and that the sweet rescue of the Lord was coming soon. That is why he could write about rejoicing always and being anxious for nothing. He knew the end of the story; he knew his rescue was sure!
I remind myself of God’s rescue as often as I can when anxiety or discouragement creep in. This future certainty gives me peace and hope.
Are you living like the Rescuer is coming soon?
In order to have confidence in God’s rescue, you need to know about Him. Read “Why We Must Think Rightly About God.”
Jesus is not only our Redeemer, He is also God with us. Read about the many names of Jesus.
Tom Seely lives in Budapest, Hungary. He and his wife, Valerie, serve at Cru’s Eastern Europe and Russia Area office, where they have been since 2003. Tom is the area digital strategies leader. In this role, he leads a team that helps ministries in 20 countries use digital tools like websites, social media, video, photography and mobile apps to reach people with the gospel.
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