Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
The book of Philippians is an amazing book where Paul, under ‘house arrest’ speaks about being joyful no less than 21 times! This demonstrates that joy is not linked to circumstances, rather it is choosing, by faith, to go to joy, in all circumstances.
This is what Paul is saying in vs 4 – Joy needs to be continually flowing out of your life.
In this chapter Paul reveals two keys to this:
1. Your internal thought life
The importance of the mind can never be overstated. It is the gateway to your heart and soul. Your thought-life determines your emotional world in the immediate, but ultimately it also determines the quality of the soil of your heart.
So Paul reveals how to deal with negative thoughts – it’s by choosing to think positive thoughts. It really is that simple, it’s black or white. You cannot think negative and positive at the same time.
Paul says in vs 8…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
2. Your external active life
Paul then says to put it into practice in vs 9.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.
Faith is outworking the truth of God’s Word from your spirit, rather than reacting out of the reality you find yourself in.
Another way of saying this is faith is not reacting or responding to what your feelings might be – it’s learning to live based on decisions that are influenced by God’s Word. And little by little as you train yourself to do this – that’s when you become an overcomer; more than a conqueror.
Now it doesn't happen by trying to do it a few times to see if it works. No, it’s not trying, it’s training. That involves making a decision – a commitment – to go to joy and when you do this you get so much more. Paul says and the God of peace will be with you’ (vs 9).
Don’t treat the Word of God like a spiritual genie – where a couple of waves of the magic wand and you are magically different. Treat it as your spiritual gym where through commitment and consistency, it reaps great rewards which compound over time!