THE JOY OF OUR SALVATION (By: Mike Sherman)

As a Christian I have certainly experienced the “Joy of my salvation” at times in my Christian walk but perhaps not as consistently as God intends. Paul writes the Christians in Philipi saying Philippians 4:4-7 – Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (5) Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. (6) Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (7) And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Paul doesn’t just command these faithful Christians to “Be Joyful”! He appears to remind them how to be joyful! We’re also challenged to REMEMBER:
1) The Lord is Near- (v.5) we may feel the Lord is very distant from us in some faraway place at times, but the truth is God is always near and there for us any time we choose to draw near to him. At times it’s necessary to repent of sin in our lives and recommit ourselves to submitting to God’s will as James writes. James 4:7-9 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (8) Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (9) Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
2) Don’t Be Anxious- Easier said than done while trying to live a Godly life in this fast paced world, but NOT impossible IF we believe the Bible to be true! Peter had plenty to be anxious about in his life while serving the Lord as a faithful apostle. He writes giving us a Godly prescription for anxiety. 1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. At times it’s our own stubborn pride that causes us to think we can handle the trials, temptations, and burdens of this life on our own. Perhaps this is why Peter reminds us to be humble prior to giving the command to “cast all your anxiety on him…”- 1 Peter 5:5-6- In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” (6) Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Humbling ourselves and casting ALL our anxiety on the Lord will certainly lead to a more joyful walk with the Lord.
3) Prayer- “…, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” We’re reminded here that prayer is appropriate for every situation. Certainly using a prayer list is helpful, but if you’re anything like me things or people that I’m worried or anxious about just seem to pop in my mind throughout the day. I’m learning to pray about these things “as they come up” instead of waiting “until they pile up.”
This article focuses on Joy, but peace and joy seem to go hand-in-hand as Paul writes- “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (v.7) Today is as good a day as any to draw near to the Lord, cast ALL our anxiety on Him, and remember to “pray in every situation”

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