Be glad allways.

Text: Filip 4:1-9 1 Therefore, my dearly beloved and longed for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.

2 I beseech Euodias and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women who labored with me in the Gospel, with Clement also and with my other fellow laborers, whose names are in the Book of Life. 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, "Rejoice!" 5 Let your moderation be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

6 Fret not about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things which ye have both learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace shall be with you.


Probably this letter was written by Paul, while he was under house arrest in Rome. He was staying in a house that he had rented and was not allowed to leave the house. The letter shows us, that he had a special relationship with the church in Philippi. And the reason for writing was a gift, which he had received from Philippi. As far as we know, the church in Philippi was the only church from which he accepted gifts. But besides that, the church was worried about the house arrest of Paul and the sickness of Epafroditus.


It is characteristic that Paul speaks a lot about gladness and happiness. On many places in his letters we can read, that Paul rejoices. But also in many places we can read: Rejoice, be glad! As a command. Happiness is the keynote throughout this letter. May be this is the most happy and sunny letter of all of his letters.

The church in Philippi faced a lot of problems. And by this letter Paul wanted to encourage them and he told them also: don’t let circumstances take away your happiness. I want to emphasize: REJOICE. All what is said in this letter has a connection with this rejoicing.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, "Rejoice!"

It is like one of the big advertisement screens in the city. Very clearly it is visible for everybody: REJOICE! Rejoice always! And Paul emphasizes it once more: REJOICE!

May be we think: Paul, you are exaggerating! May be we think, Paul, you are going too far, that is impossible! How can we always rejoice, what ever is happening around us?

But is Paul speaking about the same happiness that the world knows? Happiness that so easily changes in sorrow, or disappointment or anger. Is Paul speaking here about this kind of happiness?

Paul says more about this rejoicing: Rejoice in the Lord! Worldly happiness is very superficial. Worldly happiness stays only on the surface of our lives. It easily comes and easily goes. Many times it is easily driven away by sorrow, anger or disappointment.

You can be very happy with your child. May be he or she is very good in sports. But what happens when he or she gets a serious accident? He or she gets a very good mark at school, but the next week a very bad one. Are you still happy? Your happiness probably changes easily to sorrow or disappointment. These things happen many times in our lives.

Sometimes our happiness is like snow, when you put it in the sun, the snow will soon turn into water.

One time I was working on this sermon and something happened. I was about to finish it, while I lost all that I had prepared already. And I became angry, because of what happened. At the same time I realised, that I was making the same mistake. I lost my happiness because of what had happened. I stopped being unhappy and I prayed the Lord to forgive me. And He did, my happiness came back. The devil always tries o take away your happiness. He does not like it, when we are happy as a Christian! And he really gets you if you react in a negative manner, as I almost did!

It was the same for the Christians in Philippi. There was a lot of unrest around them and may be also the danger of being imprisoned or even worse. Therefore Paul commands them to rejoice in the Lord.

What he is trying to say is: In the life of a Christian there is always enough reason to be happy, because the Lord is with you! That is much more then superficial worldly happiness. Being happy, because God is always with you, being happy for his protection, being happy for the outlook that some day we will be with Him forever! Rejoice, whatever happens in your life.

According to our human nature, there is not much reason to rejoice. May be you are seriously ill. May be one of your family members is seriously ill. May be one member of the family is handicapped. And so on. And of course it is not wrong to have sorrow in your life. The Bible itself is telling us to weep with those who weep. But at the same time we always may rejoice because of Gods presence in our lives, whatever happens.

Worldly joy easily goes, is volatile. But that deep joy in the Lord is always with us, whatever happens. For this kind of joy we do not depend anymore on circumstances. Then it is also easier to do what Paul says in verse 5: Let your moderation to be known by all men. The Lord is near, at hand.

Then Paul continues: 6 Be not worried about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. Don’t ever be worried. Psychologists say the same. From where do they have their knowledge??? Being worried seems to be inevitable in our lives. As soon as we loose control in certain situations, we become worried. We do anything we can to solve the problem, while you are not able to do so.

When your child has an accident and brakes a leg, it does not help to worry, isn’t it? You can not heal the leg by being worried. And when you are worried, the healing will not go faster! Sometimes you even take it into your sleep at night and it gives you a bad sleep! Many times this happens, because things are happening different from what we expected or had planned.

Most of the time to be worried has to do with mistrust in God. From that point of view it means, that our life is not fully focused on God. Is your life fully focused on God? It is something we all have to deal with, it happens every now and then in our lives. Paul tells the Christians in Philippi and us: Stop with being worried. Don’t do that! When do you finally learn to put your trust fully in Him. Bring your sorrows to the Lord and He will deal with them! With thanksgiving! And Paul is not the first one who is telling this.

Psalm 55:22 is saying: cast all you anxiety on the Lord and He will care for you.

He will never admit that a righteous person will stumble. And Peter is saying the same in 1 Peter5. Not being worried is a matter of faith. Worry comes from our mind, not being worried from our faith in the Lord. Trusting the Lord is the base for it.

Of course we all have our weak moments. But whatever, the Bible commands us very clearly to stop with being worried! And if this happens, we shall also experience what the next verse is telling us: The peace of God, which goes beyond all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. A peace which we will never really understand fully, but also a peace that is very real.

I think most of us have experienced this peace already. Trust in the Lord, rejoice because He is present in your life and God will give His deep peace which goes beyond every understanding.

A promise for all of us!