I’m sure you and I can agree that these are some strange times that we’re living in with the advent of COVID-19. This global pandemic, the topic of nearly every new’s story and headline, has affected our society in a number of different ways. At the same time people are contracting the virus, people are also facing tight restrictions, unemployment, supply shortages, financial burdens, and other problems. Because of all the chaos that has stemmed from this pandemic, many individuals have been consumed with fear and anxiety. This is the natural response people tend to have whenever personal safety and comfort are disturbed.
In our Sunday Fellowship, Irvine Christian Students has been covering the book of Philippians, and here we see that Paul’s safety and comfort were not just disturbed, but stripped away completely. As a prisoner in chains, he had just about every reason to be fearful and anxious. Yet, what did he write in Philippians 4:4?
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”
How amazing is that? Paul did not say to rejoice in the Lord sometimes or rejoice in the Lord when everything is great. He said to rejoice in the Lord always! That means the Lord is worthy of our praise, regardless of the circumstances. Especially in this time, with all of the uncertainties surrounding us, what a blessing it is to know the one thing that is certain. Our certainty is Christ Jesus as our Cornerstone (Eph. 2:20), our solid Rock (Matt. 7:24), and the One who is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). He is the One who has purchased us with His blood (1 Pet. 1:18-19), that we may be partakers of the divine nature of God (2 Pet. 1:4). And because we have been purchased by His blood and now belong to Him (1 Cor. 6:20), nothing can snatch us from the Father’s hand (John 10:29). That, brothers and sisters, is the reason to rejoice!
I can personally testify that my experience of rejoicing in the Lord as of late has been very sweet. Although being without a job and having to take classes remotely has been tough, my time spent rejoicing in the Lord has really shifted my perspective. It has caused me to view my situation not so much as a burden, but rather as a platform for the advancement of the gospel — just as Paul would view it (Phil. 1:12). Furthermore, my rejoicing has helped alleviate anxieties that have tried to rise up within me, replacing those feelings with a sense of peace that comes only from the Lord. So, brothers and sisters, let this be an encouragement to lean on the Lord and to rejoice in Him for all that He has done.
-TP, Junior, Biomedical Engineering