Rejoice Always

Can I tell you something personal? I hate airplanes. I love to travel, and would do it all the time if I had the time and means, but I hate flying. If you think about airplanes, they are essentially busses, strapped with jet engines, that weigh 875,000 lbs, that travel at 600 mph, 39,000 feet off the ground, filled with people and highly flammable jet fuel. That’s why I get a little anxious when flying. I will NEVER let this prevent me from traveling, but I get a little nervous. Flying is a situation in which I am NOT IN CONTROL!

Did the pilot barely pass his flight school? Did he get a good nights sleep? How many moving parts are there on an airplane? It’s not like I got to interview this guy before I put my life in his hands…

But the reason I will step on an airplane, despite knowing all these facts, is because I believe that GOD IS IN CONTROL. The theology word for this is SOVEREIGNTY. God is sovereign which means “in control.”
Which leads me to ask this question: Do we understand and live like God is IN CONTROL? Do we believe that God is involved in and concerned with who we are, and what we do, and what happens in this world?

This is what brings us to Philippians 4:4.

“Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS, again I will say, rejoice.” What I love about this verse is that it makes being joyful a command. To rejoice means to exude or show joy. And here we find Paul, remember he is in prison when writing this, telling us to rejoice or be joyful ALWAYS. He didn’t say, TRY and be joyful. He didn’t say, rejoice when it’s convenient, but rather “rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, Rejoice.”

But even before we get caught up on the word rejoice, I think it’s important to note what is in between the command to rejoice always. It doesn’t just say “rejoice always.” It says, “Rejoice IN THE LORD always.”

This is the acknowledgement that The Lord is in control. To rejoice or be joyful IN THE LORD, means to continually identify that if HE is in control, then you don’t have to be. If HE is in control, then there is no need to be anxious, frustrated, or fear.

We tend to feel anxiety, frustration, and fear when we are NOT in control. Jesus being in control does not mean that my plane won’t fall out of the sky, but it does mean that if that is how He choses to call me home, He will take care of my family, and “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” His ways are BEYOND our understanding.

I’m not going to lie. Even though I know God is sovereign, I still get nervous on airplanes. It’s hard for me to rejoice on airplanes. So instead, I rejoice IN THE LORD. I spend the whole flight declaring how great, and awesome, and worthy of praise He is.

Where do you need to trust in God’s sovereignty?
Where do you need to surrender control?
Are you terrified about your ministry?
Are you frustrated with your students?

Great News: You are not in control. He is. So rejoice in Him, and serve faithfully.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Texas native, Texas Tech Red Raider, M.Div. at Truett Seminary, husband to Ashley, father to Ava, Student Pastor at LifePoint Church in Plano, Tx, table tennis (ping-pong) extraordinaire, addicted to coffee. For anything else…you’ll just have to ask, Email David.[/author_info] [/author]

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