"Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice."-Philippians
HERE IS A marvelous medicinal power in joy. Most medicines are distasteful;
but this, which is the best of all medicines, is sweet to the taste, and
comforting to the heart. We noticed, in our reading, that there had been
a little tiff between two sisters in the church at Philippi;-I am glad
that we do not know what the quarrel was about; I am usually thankful for
ignorance on such subjects;-but, as a cure for disagreements, the apostle
says, "Rejoice in the Lord alway." People who are very happy, especially
those who are very happy in the Lord, are not apt either to give offence
or to take offence. Their minds are so sweetly occupied with higher things,
that they are not easily distracted by the little troubles which naturally
arise among such imperfect creatures as we are. Joy in the Lord is the
cure for all discord. Should it not be so? What is this joy but the concord
of the soul, the accord of the heart, with the joy of heaven? Joy in the
Lord, then, drives away the discords of earth.
Further, brethren, notice that the apostle, after he had said, "Rejoice
in the Lord alway," commanded the Philippians to be careful for nothing,
thus implying that joy in the Lord is one of the best preparations for
the trials of this life. The cure for care is joy in the Lord. No, my brother,
you will not be able to keep on with your fretfulness; no, my sister, you
will not be able to weary yourself any longer with your anxieties, if the
Lord will but fill you with his joy. Then, being satisfied with your God,
yea, more than satisfied, overflowing with delight in him, you will say
to yourself, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted
in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his
countenance." What is there on earth that is worth fretting for even for
five minutes? If one could gain an imperial crown by a day of care, it
would be too great an expense for a thing which would bring more care with
it. Therefore, let us be thankful, let us be joyful in the Lord. I count
it one of the wisest things that, by rejoicing in the Lord, we commence
our heaven here below. It is possible so to do, it is profitable so to
do, and we are commanded so to do.
Now I come to the text itself, "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again
I say, Rejoice."
I. It will be our first business at this time to consider THE GRACE
COMMANDED, this grace of joy; "Rejoice in the Lord," says the apostle.
In the first place, this is a very delightful thing. What a gracious
God we serve, who makes delight to be a duty, and who commands us to rejoice!
Should we not at once be obedient to such a command as this? It is intended
that we should be happy. That is the meaning of the precept, that we should
be cheerful; more than that, that we should be thankful; more than that,
that we should rejoice. I think this word "rejoice" is almost a French
word; it is not only joy, but it is joy over again, re-joice. You know
re usually signifies the reduplication of a thing, the taking it over again.
We are to joy, and then we are to re-joy. We are to chew the cud of delight;
we are to roll the dainty morsel under our tongue till we get the very
essence out of it. "Rejoice." Joy is a delightful thing. You cannot be
too happy, brother. Nay, do not suspect yourself of being wrong because
you are full of delight. You know it is said of the divine wisdom, "Her
ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace." Provided that
it is joy in the Lord, you cannot have too much of it. The fly is drowned
in the honey, or the sweet syrup into which he plunges himself; but this
heavenly syrup of delight will not drown your soul, or intoxicate your
heart. It will do you good, and not evil, all the days of your life. God
never commanded us to do a thing that would really harm us; and when he
bids us rejoice, we may be sure that this is a delightful as it is safe,
and as safe as it is delightful. Come, brothers and sisters, I am inviting
you now to no distasteful duty when, in the name of my Master, I say to
you, as Paul said to the Philippians under the teaching of the Holy Spirit,
"Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice."
But, next, this is a demonstrative duty: "Rejoice in the Lord." There
may be such a thing as a dumb joy, but I hardly think that it can keep
dumb long. Joy! Joy! Why, it speaks for itself! It is like a candle lighted
in a dark chamber; you need not sound a trumpet, and say, "Now light has
come." The candle proclaims itself by its own brilliance; and when joy
comes into a man, it shines out of his eyes, it sparkles in his countenance.
There is a something about every limb of the man that betokens that his
body, like a well-tuned harp, has had its strings put in order. Joy-it
refreshes the marrow of the bones; it quickens the flowing of the blood
in the veins; it is a healthy thing in all respects. It is a speaking thing,
a demonstrative thing; and I am sure that joy I the Lord ought to have
a tongue. When the Lord sends you affliction, sister, you generally grumble
loudly enough; when the Lord tries you, my dear brother, you generally
speak fast enough about that. Now when, on the other hand, the Lord multiplies
his mercies to you, do speak about it, do sing about it. I cannot recollect,
since I was a boy, ever seeing in the newspapers columns of thankfulness
and expressions of delight about the prosperity of business in England.
It is a long, long time since I was first able to read newspapers-a great
many years now; but I do not recollect the paragraphs in which it was said
that everybody was getting on in the world, and growing rich; but as soon
as there was any depression in business, what lugubrious articles appeared
concerning the dreadful times which had fallen upon the agricultural interest
and every other interest! Oh, my dear brethren, from the way some of you
grumble, I might imagine you were all ruined if I did not know better!
I knew some of you when you were not worth twopence, and you are pretty
well-to-do now; you have got on uncommonly well for men who are being ruined!
From the way some people talk, you might imagine that everybody is bankrupt,
and that we are all going to the dogs together; but it is not so, and what
a pity it is that we do not give the Lord some of our praises when we have
better times! If we are so loud and so eloquent over our present woes,
why could we not have been as eloquent and as loud in thanksgiving for
the blessings that God formerly vouchsafed to us? Perhaps the mercies buried
in oblivion have been to heaven, and accused us to the Lord, and therefore
he has sent us the sorrows of to-day. True joy, when it is joy in the Lord,
must speak; it cannot hold its tongue, it must praise the name of the Lord.
Further, this blessed grace of joy is very contagious. It is a great
privilege, I think, to meet a truly happy man, a graciously happy man.
My mind goes back at this moment to that dear man of God who used to be
with us, years ago, whom we called "Old Father Dransfield." What a lump
of sunshine that man was! I think that I never came into this place with
a heavy heart, but the very sight of him seemed to fill me with exhilaration,
for his joy was wholly in his God! An old man and full of years, but as
full of happiness as he was full of days; always having something to tell
you to encourage you. He constantly made a discovery of some fresh mercy
for which we were again to praise God. O dear brethren, let us rejoice
in the Lord, that we may set others rejoicing! One dolorous spirit brings
a kind of plague into the house; one person who is always wretched seems
to stop all the birds singing wherever he goes; but, as the birds pipe
to each other, and one morning songster quickens all the rest, and sets
the groves ringing with harmony, so will it be with the happy cheerful
spirit of a man who obeys the command of the text, "Rejoice in the Lord
alway." This grace of joy is contagious.
Besides, dear brethren, joy in the Lord is influential for good. I am
sure that there is a mighty influence wielded by a consistently joyous
spirit. See how little children are affected by the presence of a happy
person. There is much more in the tone of the life than there is in the
particular fashion of the life. It may be the life of one who is very poor,
but oh, how poverty is gilded by a cheerful spirit! It may be the life
of one who is well read and deeply instructed; but, oh, if there be a beauty
of holiness, and a beauty of happiness added to the learning, nobody talks
about "the blue stocking," or "the bookworm" being dull and heavy. Oh,
no, there is a charm about holy joy! I wish we had more of it! There are
many more flies caught with honey than with vinegar; and there are many
more sinners brought to Christ by happy Christians than by doleful Christians.
Let us sing unto the Lord as long as we live; and, mayhap, some weary sinner,
who has discovered the emptiness of sinful pleasure, will say to himself,
"Why, after all, there must be something real about the of these Christians;
let me go and learn how I may have it." And when he comes and sees it in
the light of your gladsome countenance, he will be likely to learn it,
God helping him, so as never to forget it. "Rejoice in the Lord alway,"
says the apostle, for joy is a most influential grace, and every child
of God ought to possess it in a high degree.
I want you to notice, dear friends, that this rejoicing is commanded.
It is not a matter that is left to your option; it is not set before you
as a desirable thing which you can do without, but it is a positive precept
of the Holy Spirit to all who are in the Lord: "Rejoice in the Lord alway."
We ought to obey this precept because joy in the Lord makes us like God.
He is the happy God; ineffable bliss is the atmosphere in which he lives,
and he would have his people to be happy. Let the devotees of Baal cut
themselves with knives and lancets, and make hideous outcries if they will;
but the servants of Jehovah must not even mar the corners of their beard.
Even if they fast, they shall anoint their head, and wash their face, that
they appear not unto men to fast, for a joyous God desires a joyous people.
You are commanded to rejoice, brethren, because this is for your profit.
Holy joy will oil the wheels of your life's machinery. Holy joy will strengthen
you for your daily labour. Holy joy will beautify you, and, as I have already
said, give you an influence over the lives of others. It is upon this point
that I would most of all insist, we are commanded to rejoice in the Lord.
If you cannot speak the gospel, live the gospel by your cheerfulness; for
what is the gospel? Glad tidings of great joy; and you who believe it must
show by its effect upon you that it is glad tidings of great joy to you.
I do believe that a man of God-under trial and difficulty and affliction,
bearing up, and patiently submitting with holy acquiescence, and still
rejoicing in God-is a real preacher of the gospel, preaching with an eloquence
which is mightier than words can ever be, and which will find its secret
and silent way into the hearts of those who might have resisted other arguments.
Oh, do, then, listen to the text, for it is a command from God, "Rejoice
in the Lord alway!"
May I just pause here, and hand this commandment round to all of you
who are members of this church, and to all of you who are truly members
of Christ? You are bidden to rejoice in the Lord alway; you are not allowed
to sit there, and fret, and fume; you are not permitted to complain and
grown. Mourner, you are commanded to put on beauty for ashes, and the oil
of joy for mourning. For this purpose your Saviour came, the Spirit of
the Lord is upon him for this very end, that he might make you to rejoice.
Therefore, sing with the prophet, "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments
of salvation, he hath covered me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom
decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her
II. Now we come to the second head, on which I will speak but briefly;
that is, THE JOY DISCRIMINATED: "Rejoice in the Lord."
Notice the sphere of this joy: "Rejoice in the Lord." We read in Scripture
that children are to obey their parents "in the Lord." We read of men and
women being married "only in the Lord." Now, dear friends, no child of
God must go outside that ring, "in the Lord." There is where you are, where
you ought to be, where you must be. You cannot truly rejoice if you get
outside that ring; therefore, see that you do nothing which you cannot
do "in the Lord." Mind that you seek no joy which is not joy in the Lord;
if you go after the poisonous sweets of this world, woe be to you. Never
rejoice in that which is sinful, for all such rejoicing is evil. Flee from
it; it can do you no good. That joy which you cannot share with God is
not a right joy for you. No; "in the Lord" is the sphere of your joy.
But I think that the apostle also means that God is to be the great
object of your joy: "Rejoice in the Lord." Rejoice in the Father, you Father
who is in heaven, your loving, tender, unchangeable God. Rejoice, too,
in the Son, your Redeemer, your Brother, the Husband of you soul, your
Prophet, Priest, and King. Rejoice also in the Holy Ghost, your Quickener,
your Comforter, in him who shall abide with you for ever. Rejoice in the
one God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob; in him delight yourselves,
as it is written, "Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give
thee the desires of thine heart." We cannot have too much of this joy in
the ord, for the great Jehovah is our exceeding joy. Or if, by :the Lord"
is meant the Lord Jesus, then let me invite, persuade, command you to delight
in the Lord Jesus, incarnate in your flesh, dead for your sins, risen for
your justification, gone into the glory claiming victory for you, sitting
at the right hand of God interceding for you, reigning over all worlds
on your behalf, and soon to come to take you up into his glory that you
may be with him for ever. Rejoice in the Lord Jesus. This is a sea of delight;
blessed are they that dive into its utmost depths.
Sometimes, brethren and sisters, you cannot rejoice in anything else,
but you can rejoice in the Lord; then, rejoice I him to the full. Do not
rejoice in your temporal prosperity, for riches take to themselves wings,
and fly away. Do not rejoice even in your great successes in the work of
God. Remember how the seventy disciples came back to Jesus, and said, "Lord,
even the devils are subject unto us through thy name," and he answered,
"Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto
you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven." Do
not rejoice in your privileges; I mean, do not make the great joy of your
life to be the fact that you are favoured with this and that external privilege
or ordinance, but rejoice in God. He changes not. If the Lord be your joy,
your joy will never dry up. All other things are but for a season; but
God is for ever and ever. Make him your joy, the whole of your joy, and
then let this joy absorb your every thought. Be baptized into this joy;
plunge into the deeps of this unutterable bliss of joy in God.
III. Thirdly, let us think of THE TIME APPOINTED for this rejoicing:
"Rejoice in the Lord alway."
"Alway." Well, then, that begins at once, certainly; so let us now begin
to rejoice in the Lord. If any of you have taken a gloomy view of religion,
I beseech you to throw that gloomy view away at once. "Rejoice in the Lord
alway," therefore, rejoice in the Lord now. I recollect what a damper I
had, as a young Christian, when I had but lately believed in Jesus Christ.
I felt that, as the Lord had said, "He that believeth in me hath everlasting
life," I, having believed in him, had everlasting life, and I said so,
with the greatest joy and delight and enthusiasm, to an old Christian man;
and he said to me, "Beware of presumption! There are a great many who think
they have eternal life, but who have not got it," which was quite true;
but, for all that, is there not more presumption in doubting God's promise
than there is in believing it? Is there any presumption in taking God at
his word? Is there not gross presumption in hesitating and questioning
as to whether these things are so or not? If God says that they are so,
then they are so, whether I feel that they are so or not; and it is my
place, as a believer, to accept God's bare word, and rest on it. "We count
cheques as cash," said one who was making up accounts. Good cheques are
to be counted as cash, and the promises of God, though as yet unfulfilled,
are as good as the blessings themselves, for God cannot lie, or make a
promise that he will not perform. Let us, therefore, not be afraid of being
glad, but begin to be glad at once if we have hitherto taken a gloomy view
of true religion, and have been afraid to rejoice.
When are we to be glad? "Rejoice in the Lord alway;" that is, when you
cannot rejoice in anything or anyone but God. When the fig-tree does not
blossom, when there is no fruit on the vine and no herd in the stall, when
everything withers and decays and perishes, when the worm at the root of
the gourd has made it to die, then rejoice in the Lord. When the day darkens
into evening, and the evening into midnight, and the midnight into a seven
fold horror of great darkness, rejoice in the Lord; and when that darkness
does not clear, but becomes more dense and Egyptian, when night succeedeth
night, and neither sun nor moon nor stars appear, still rejoice in the
Lord alway. He who uttered these words had been a night and a day in the
deep, he had been stoned, he had suffered from false brethren, he had been
in peril of his life, and yet most fittingly do those lips cry out to us,
"Rejoice in the Lord alway." Ay, at the stake itself have martyrs fulfilled
this word; they clapped their hands amid the fire that was consuming them.
Therefore, rejoice in the Lord when you cannot rejoice in any other.
But also take care that you rejoice in the Lord when you have other
things to rejoice in. When he loads your table with good things, and your
cup is overflowing with blessings, rejoice in him more than in them. Forget
not that the Lord your Shepherd is better than the green pastures and the
still waters, and rejoice not in the pastures or in the waters in comparison
with your joy in the Shepherd who gives you all. Let us never make gods
out of our goods; let us never allow what God gives us to supplant the
Giver. Shall the wife love the jewels that her husband gave her better
than she loves him who gave them to her? That were an evil love, or no
love at all. So, let us love God first, and rejoice in the Lord alway when
the day is brightest, and multiplied are the other joys that he permits
us to have.
"Rejoice in the Lord alway." That is, if you have not rejoiced before,
begin to do so at once; and when you have long rejoiced, keep on at it.
I have known, sometimes, that things have gone so smoothly that I have
said, "There will be a check to this prosperity; I know that there will.
Things cannot go on quite so pleasantly always."
"More the treacherous calm I dread
Than tempests lowering overhead."
One is apt to spoil his joy by the apprehension that there is some evil
coming. Now listen to this: "He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his
heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord." "Rejoice in the Lord alway." Do
not anticipate trouble. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
Take the good that God provides thee, and rejoice not merely in it, but
in him who provided it. So mayest thou enjoy it without fear, for there
is good salt with that food which is eaten as coming from the hand of God.
"Rejoice in the Lord alway." That is, when you get into company, then
rejoice in the Lord. Do not be ashamed to let others see that you are glad.
Rejoice in the Lord also when you are alone. I know what happens to some
of you on Sunday night. You have had such a blessed Sabbath, and you have
gone away from the Lord's table with the very flavour of heaven in your
mouths; and then some of you have had to go home where everything is against
you. The husband does not receive you with any sympathy with your joy,
or the father does not welcome you with any fellowship in your delight.
Well, but still, "Rejoice in the Lord alway." When you cannot get anybody
else to rejoice with you, still continue to rejoice. There is a way of
looking at everything which will show you that the blackest cloud has a
silver lining. There is a way of looking at all things in the light of
God, which will turn into sweetness that which otherwise had been bitter
as gall. I do not know whether any of you keep a quassia cup at home. If
you do, you know that it is made of wood, and you pour water into the bowl,
and the water turns bitter directly before you drink it. You may keep this
cup as long as you like, but it always embitters the water that is put
into it. I think that I know some dear brethren and sisters who always
seem to have one of these cups handy. Now instead of that, I want you to
buy a cup of another kind that shall make everything sweet, whatever it
is. Whatever God pleases to pour out of the bowl of providence shall come
into your cup, and your contentment, your delight in God, shall sweeten
it all. God bless you, dear friends, with much of this holy joy!
IV. So now I finish with the fourth head, which is this, THE EMPHASIS
LAID ON THE COMMAND: "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice."
What does that mean, "Again I say, Rejoice"?
This was, first, to show Paul's love for the Philippians. He wanted
them to be happy. They had been so kind to him, and they had made him so
happy, that he said, "Oh, dear brethren, do rejoice; dear sisters, do rejoice.
I say it twice over to you, "Be happy, be happy,' because I love you so
well that I am anxious to have you beyond all things else to rejoice in
the Lord alway."
I also think that, perhaps, he said it twice over to suggest the difficulty
of continual joy. It is not so easy as some think always to rejoice. It
may be for you young people, who are yet strong in limb, who have few aches
and pains, and none of the infirmities of life. It may be an easy thing
to those placed in easy circumstances, with few cares and difficulties;
but there are some of God's people who need great grace if they are to
rejoice in the Lord always; and the apostle knew that, so he said, "Again
I say, Rejoice." He repeats the precept, as much as to say, "I know it
is a difficult thing, and so I the more earnestly press it upon you. Again
I say, Rejoice."
I think, too that he said it twice over, to assert the possibility of
it. This was as much as if he had said, "I told you to rejoice in the Lord
always. You opened your eyes, and looked with astonishment upon me; but,
"Again I say, Rejoice." It is possible, it is practicable; I have not spoken
unwisely. I have not told you to do what you never can do; but with deliberation
I write it down, "Again I say, Rejoice.' You can be happy. God the Holy
Ghost can lift you above the down-draggings of the flesh, and of the world,
and of the devil; and you may be enabled to live upon the mount of God
beneath the shinings of his face. "Again I say, Rejoice.'"
Do you not think that this was intended also to impress upon them the
importance of the duty? "Again I say, Rejoice." Some of you will go and
say, "I do not think that it matters much whether I am happy or not, I
shall get to heaven, however gloomy I am, if I am sincere." "No," says
Paul, "that kind of talk will not do; I cannot have you speak like that.
Come, I must have you rejoice, I do really conceive it to be a Christian's
bounden duty, and so, "Again, I say, Rejoice.'"
But do you not think, also, that Paul repeated the command to allow
of special personal testimony? "Again I say, Rejoice. I, Paul, a sufferer
to the utmost extent for Christ's sake, even now an ambassador in bonds,
shut up in a dungeon, I say to you, Rejoice." Paul was a greatly-tried
man, but he was a blessedly happy man. There is not one of us but would
gladly change conditions with Paul, if that were possible, now that we
see the whole of his life written out; and to-night, looking across the
ages, over all the scenes of trouble which he encountered, he says to us,
"Brethren, rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice."
Did you ever notice how full of joy this Epistle to the Philippians
is? Will you spare me just a minute while I get you to run your eye through
it, to observe what a joyful letter it is? You notice that, in the first
chapter, Paul gets only as far as the fourth verse when he says, "Always
in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy." Now he is
I his right vein; he is so glad because of what God has done for the Philippians
that, when he prays for them, he mixes joy with his prayer. In the eighteenth
verse, he declares that he found joy even in the opposition of those who
preached Christ in order to rival him. Hear what he says: "The one preach
Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my
bonds: but the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of
the gospel. What then? Notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence,
or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will
rejoice." And he does not finish the chapter till, in the twenty-fifth
verse, he declares that he had joy even in the expectation of not going
to heaven just yet, but living a little longer to do god to these people:
"And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with
you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; that your rejoicing may
be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again." You
see it is joy, joy, joy, joy. Paul seems to go from stave to stave of the
ladder of light, as if he were climbing up fro Nero's dungeon into heaven
itself by way of continual joy. So he writes, in the second verse of the
second chapter, "Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the
same love, being of one accord, of one mind." When he gets to the sixteenth
verse, he says, "That I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not
run in vain, neither laboured in vain."
But I am afraid that I should weary you if I went through the Epistle
thus, slowly, verse by verse. Just notice how he begins the third chapter:
"Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord." The word is sometimes rendered
"farewell." When he says, "Rejoice," it is the counterpart of "welcome."
We say to a man who comes to our house, "Salve," "Welcome." When he goes
away, it is our duty to "speed the parting guest," and say "Farewell."
This is what Paul meant to say here. "Finally, my brethren, fare you well
in the Lord. Be happy in the Lord. Rejoice in the Lord." And I do not think
that I can finish up my sermon better than by saying on this Sabbath night,
"Finally, my brethren, fare you well, be happy in the Lord."
"Fare thee well! a if for ever
Still for ever, fare thee well."
May that be your position, so to walk with God that your fare shall
be that of angels! May you eat angels' food, the manna of God's love! May
your drink be from the rock that flows with a pure stream! So may you feed
and so may you drink until you come unto the mount of God; where you shall
see his face unveiled, and standing in his exceeding brightness, shall
know his glory, being glorified with the saved. Till then, be happy. Why,
"The thought of such amazing bliss,
Should constant joy create."
Be happy. If the present be dreary, it will soon be over. Oh, but a
little while, and we shall be transferred from these seats below to the
thrones above! We shall go from the place of aching brows to the place
where they all wear crowns, from the place of weary hands to where they
bear the palm branch of victory, from the place of mistake and error and
sin, and consequent grief, to the place where they are without fault before
the throne of God, for they have washed their robes, and made them white
in the blood of the Lamb. Come, then, let us make a solemn league and covenant
together in the name of God, and let it be called, "The Guild of the Happy";
"Favourites of the Heavenly King
May speak their joys abroad;"
nay, they must speak their joys abroad; let us endeavour to do so always,
by the help of the Holy Spirit. Amen and Amen.
This Epistle was written by Paul when he was in prison, with iron fetters
about his wrists; yet there is no iron in the Epistle. It is full of light,
life, love, and joy, blended with traces of sorrow, yet with a holy delight
that rises above his grief...
4, 5. Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your
moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
We have come to understand this word "moderation" in a sense not at
all intended here. The best translation would probably be "forbearance."
Do not get angry with anybody; do not begin to get fiery and impetuous:
be forbearing, for the Lord is at hand. You cannot tell how soon he may
appear; there is no time to spare for the indulgence of anger; be quiet;
be patient; and if there be anything very wrong, well, leave it. Our Lord
Jesus will come very soon; therefore be not impatient.
6. Be careful- That is, be anxious- for nothing; but in everything
by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made
known unto God.
See how the apostle would bid us throw anxiety to the winds; let us
try to do so. You cannot turn one hair white or black, fret as you may.
You cannot add a cubit to your stature, be you as anxious as you please.
It will be for your own advantage, and it will be for God's glory for you
to shake off the anxieties which else might overshadow your spirit. Be
anxious about nothing, but prayerful about everything, and be thankful
about everything as well. Is not that a beautiful trait in Paul's character?
He is a prison at Rome, and likely soon to die; yet he mingles thanksgiving
with his supplication, and asks others to do the same. We have always something
for which to thank God, therefore let us also obey the apostolic injunction.
7,. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall
keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
If there is any really good movement in the world, help it, you Christian
people. If it is not purely and absolutely religious, yet if it tends to
the benefit of your fellow-men, if it promotes honesty, justice, purity,
take care that you are on that side, and do all you can to help it forward.