Scripture reading for October 3rd: Philippians 4:1-23
Paul’s letter from prison was full of encouragement to these Philippian saints, but one of the only corrections in this letter occurs when Paul calls two ladies to come into agreement. Euodia and Syntyche were evidently at odds in some dispute. They were in need of help to settle the matter and move on. Rejoicing would be much better than to be in strife!
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7) A cure for strife is found in rejoicing in the Lord! When we rejoice, our attitude lightens up and the troubles seem to melt. Gentleness should mark believers when they deal with problems between each other. Prayer and petitions about the problems should be given to God. A thankful heart is full of faith and God honors that! His peace will come over you and the problems will melt away!
After praying, setting our minds of the good things of God also helps. Paul was himself rejoicing in the Philippians concern for him expressed in their gifts. Paul had learned the secret of contentment in all circumstances–rejoicing in God’s goodness! “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” (Philippians 4:13) God always gave him grace to enjoy or endure!
Paul thanked the Philippians for helping him with an offering to meet his needs. Paul described their offering: “They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” God always rewards generous giving. Our offerings are like a fragrant sacrifice going up to God. God is pleased and we can be sure we will be blessed! Rejoice in the Lord! And again I say: Rejoice!