Rejoice in the Lord always

I hate debt. Debt feels like a prison. I am free to walk away from many of life’s constraints, but not debt. Debt owns you. Any time I have a loan I can not wait to get it paid off.  I does not matter to me the extent to which it impacts my budget. Any amount seems to weigh me down. It feels like I am carrying a backpack full of books. The day I make that last payment causes joy that comes from great freedom. Freedom from the entity to which I owe the debt. I brings a feeling of weightlessness and brings a smile to my face.

What weighs you down?

Philippians 4:4 (CSB)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Paul has addresses many very difficult circumstances in the book of Philippians. He is imprisoned, surrounded by those wishing to do him harm. His existence requires the help of others. He is addressing a congregation dealing with major conflict. He is speaking to humility, love, peace, joy and want. It seems he should be weighed down, but we do not get this sense from this letter.

Why is Paul not weighed down with all the adversity he faces? Why does he experience joy despite all these circumstances?  Why does he live free from the weight of his life situation? Source. What is Paul’s source of life? Christ. Christ is his everything. Paul sees all of his life in terms of knowing Christ. He does not let his life be defined by all the things of this world, but only by Christ. This is freedom from the weight of this world and buoyancy as a result of having true life. Life that is founded on right relationship with God. Since he is in right relationship he does not feel condemnation and his only goal in life is to know Christ and to preach the gospel so that others may experience the same. Nothing else matters…..weighs him down. He can experience joy despite all the other situations and emotions that he experiences.

How about you? Do you know how to find the elusive emotion of joy?  Start with right relationship. Are you made right based on Christ’s righteousness or are you counting on some other way to be right with God? Are you about His business? Are you leaning into the life He has called you to? Are you trusting that He will see you through and that life’s circumstances will not defeat you?

There is no better time to seek joy from the source of joy.

Rejoice in the Lord, always!

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