Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
The Christian life is the only life there is. There are many gimmicks that the devil has developed over time to try to keep people from God’s gift of eternal life. None of them meets the standard that man is looking for in his heart. There are so many people who are struggling in life when they do not need to. There are marriages that are in turmoil simply because couples refuse to humble themselves and trust in God’s way of loving one another. There are families that are in turmoil for the same reason. Many tolerate those they should be rejoicing in. Our country is in trouble because our governments reject God and many citizens also reject Him.
Paul instructed the saints in Philippi to rejoice in the Lord alway. That is the key. There is nothing to rejoice in if a person does not know the Lord. Knowing Him and serving Him is what makes life worthwhile. The apostle Paul was writing from prison. Yet He could rejoice in the Lord. There were concerns he had with the saints in Philippi. There were concerns he had with other churches as well. However, none of that could rob him of the ability to rejoice in the Lord. He knew that trusting in the Lord was the answer to all of man’s problems. That is why he counselled the saints at Philippi to have the mind of Christ.
In verse 5 he reminded the saints that their moderation needed to be known unto all men. The word translated as “moderation” means: “equitable, fair, mild, gentle.” A person is known by their character. There are some people that a person does not want to spend too much time with. There are others that are pleasant to be around. Christians need to be known for their godly character. Their godly character needs to be known to all men. We cannot be friendly in one place and ruthless in another. Christians need to have a balanced character.
Those who are truly saved need to function under the mind of Christ. Jesus Christ never caused anyone to run from Him because He was irrational. He was angry with the money changers in the temple. That was justified. The fear of the Lord is necessary to life and wisdom. However, even the wicked Pharisees could come to Him and tempt Him. He allowed them to do so. He rebuked them and through that taught others the evil that was in the hearts of the Pharisees.
Paul gives us the reason for this. “The Lord is at hand.” At any moment we could meet the Lord. This life is short and very fragile. God says this life is like a vapour. We could be dead in a moment in time. We need to live with eternity in mind. That is what Paul stated in the closing verses of chapter 3.
Too many people live in the flesh and do not think of the direction they are going. They somehow justify their evil ways. They either do not believe there is a God, or they assume He is a push-over just like they are at times. They assume He will laugh off their wicked ways. God is just. He provides a clean heart for each child of His. He expects His children to obey Him. He equips every child of His with the ability to obey Him. The Holy Spirit indwells every true child of God. He is there to guide and direct the true child of God. When a true child of God disobeys God’s way, God will chasten him. Those who are not chastened are not His children. His chastening will produce the peaceable fruit of righteousness. He also has the power and authority to shorten a person’s life.
Christians need to learn to walk in the fear of the Lord. That is not a dreaded fear. It is a reverence for the holiness and righteousness of the Lord. When we live that way we can rejoice always. We can live with anticipation of the soon coming of the Lord.
In verse 6 we are reminded that true saints do not need to be worried about life. True saints do not need to see a “shrink”. True saints need to be in the Word of God and trusting in the God of the Word. God does not mess with our minds. He brings stability and soundness of mind. We are reminded here that prayer is an important part of the Christian life. True saints have an open door to God at all times. We can come to Him with our requests and with our thanksgiving.
Jesus taught the disciples how to pray in Matthew 6. Many people call that the Lord’s prayer. It is the disciple’s prayer. Jesus taught the disciples how to pray. Jesus did not need to pray for forgiveness. We certainly need to pray for forgiveness. Jesus did not teach that prayer as something to memorize and recite in a vain manner. God is not impressed with vain repetition. Prayer needs to come from the heart. It does not come from a prayer book. Prayer needs to come from a heart that is right with God, or a heart that desires to be right with God.
God directed Paul to remind the saints that prayer needs to be with thanksgiving. Romans 1 tells us that the sodomites are not thankful. They reject the true nature of God and they are not thankful. They lust after that which is unnatural.
The true child of God has much to be thankful for. He or she can come to God at any time and speak to Him. Notice here again that our prayers must be directed to God. We cannot pray to Jesus or to the Holy Spirit. Prayer must be directed to God. It is always brought in Jesus’ name. He is the mediator between God and man.
When our hearts are right with God, we will know His peace. His peace passeth all understanding. The natural man cannot understand how the child of God can be at peace. Even as Paul faced death he wrote with a peace in his heart in II Timothy 4. He was not afraid of dying. He knew he had lived for God’s glory and He knew he had been faithful to the Lord.
God’s peace will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. We are reminded again of why we need the mind of Christ. If we are wasting our time chasing after things that do not matter and that do not last, we will not know the peace of God. Lost people are always concerned about whether their money and possessions are safe. We have heard much of the corrupt nature of the banking system. The government has shown us that nobody’s money is safe in a bank. If they want to, they can seize that money in an instant. There is no process they need to go through first. They just demand it be seized and that is it.
Saved people need money to live as well. However, saved people trust God even when things get tough. That is because their hearts and minds are fixed on Christ Jesus. Peter and John demonstrated that peace in Acts 3-5 as they dealt with the lame man and then with the false teachers who tried to have them killed. They had nothing material to give the lame man. They were arrested and threatened for giving this man the ability to walk and serve the Lord. They did not fret about the situation. In fact they rejoiced that they were counted worthy of suffering for the Lord that had saved them.
God wants His children to walk with Him step by step. We do not need to know the details of that walk. We need to know the One Who is in charge and serve Him faithfully each day. He will guide and He will direct us in the way we need to walk.