This is Dr. Michael Brown from Ask Dr. Brown Ministries and you are watching God Today. Paul wrote from prison. Think of prison in the ancient world. It wasn’t nice, it was not pretty, you didn’t have prisoners’ rights. You could be in a miserable dungeon in the basement, under a building, and chained. It could be rat-infested, filthy, smelly. Paul, writing from prison, writes to the Philippians and says, “Rejoice Always, and again I tell you, rejoice.”
Remember, it is when Paul was in a jail in Philippi, in Acts 16. He and Silas were doing Gospel work. Paul had driven a demon out of a slave girl and it had caused a disruption in the city. And because of Paul and Silas’s obedience to the Lord, they were led to Philippi directly by the Lord at the beginning of Acts 16. For their obedience to God, they end up in a jail cell. Not only so, but they are also severely flogged. Think about that. You are in chains, you are beaten, you are bloody, you can’t ease your suffering on any level. And in the midst of that, at midnight, the deepest, darkest hour they begin singing praise and hymns to God and their shackles are loosed.
Rejoicing in the Lord is not dependent on circumstances. Rejoicing in the Lord is not dependent on your emotions. Rejoicing in the Lord is not dependent on what you want to do. No. It is a quality choice before the God of obedience. It says, “I don’t care what my circumstances are. I don’t care how bad things are. I don’t care what my body is telling me. I am going to rejoice because He is good no matter what.” And in His presence, Psalm 16, “is fullness of joy.” And Nehemiah 8, “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” Think of that. It changes everything around you. You shut out the ugliness, the venom, the pain, the difficulty, the pain, the crisis. And you begin to focus on who God is and suddenly everything changes around you and you’d be amazed to see the freedom and the liberty it brings.
Paul gives us a command, “Rejoice always.” I remember, years back, when I was young in ministry, married, two kids, living in a home, working at a Bible school, and being underpaid by design, so you would learn to trust God for your finances. Having bills mounting up that had to be paid on time and I had no way to do it. I remember I would take all the bills. I knew I would have to pay them, I had to be responsible. I would take all the bills, I put them on the ground and I began to dance and celebrate the lord. And dance over the bills and no matter what my finances are I’d say, “You are good and I am going to rejoice in you.” And every single time God Himself would come through.
I want to encourage you, make a quality choice. “I don’t care what my mind, my body, circumstances are telling me. I am going to rejoice in the Lord today because He is good and He will bring out the good from my trial.
Let us pray. Father, I pray for a Spirit of joy. I pray triumphant, overwhelming joy from Heaven to flood hearts and minds for each viewer now, especially those who feel like they are in prison themselves. May joy hit as they honor you, as they look to you, as they worship you, as they praise you. May joy hit and may joy bring freedom. In Jesus’ name. Amen. This is Dr. Michael Brown, you have been watching God TV.