Philippians 4:1-13. Our reflections for the following 13 weeks will be based on this passage from Philippians. We invite you to weekly read all 13 verses as a way of soaking in scripture.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)
My physiotherapist wheeled me back into the ward. The nurse came to meet us, “Vous êtes toujours avec le sourire!” (“You are always smiling!”)
Her face was questioning. Her voice was a mix of curiosity and accusation with a tinge of envy. She simply could not understand how anyone who came for a lungs transplant and ended with bilateral mid-leg amputation could be smiling.
She did not know that Paul charged me to be cheerful and full of joy in every season of life. He encouraged me to let my joy overflow no matter what is happening around me. My circumstances do not determine my joy. It is the product and outworking of the Holy Spirit dwelling in me.
She did not know that Habakkuk 3:17-18 set me an example of what it means to truly find joy in the God of my salvation even in the direst of circumstances. There may be storms swirling around us, our wallets may be empty, bills have piled up, pain and distress may rattle our bodies, yet we must rejoice in the Lord!
When we find reasons to thank God in all circumstances of our lives, it would stir up joy in our hearts, cause us to trust in God and rejoice in the Lord always. Nothing can steal the joy of those who trust in God. They can rejoice amid trials and adversities. Their joy is not found in the shifting and unstable seasons or life’s circumstances but in the transcendent God who saves and delivers.
Prayer of Response:
Thank You, Lord, for Your Holy Spirit working in us to produce the joy that makes us rejoice in all circumstances. Help us, Lord, stay tuned to you and yield to the Holy Spirit when life’s events threaten to steal our joy.
Questions to Ponder:
- Do you find it difficult to remain joyful amid the trials and difficulties of life?
- Do you quickly lose your joy when life gets challenging and things do not go the way you desire?
- Can you find reasons to be thankful to God at all times?
—Submitted by Irene Olumese
Irene is a lung transplant survivor and a bilateral amputee. She speaks and writes to inspire hope. As a Faith-Informed Transformational Trauma Coach, Irene helps those going through adversities to go beyond their traumatic experiences and find purpose through them. Irene is the Founder of the Feet of Grace Foundation, which provides prosthetic limbs to indigene amputees. She lives in Geneva, Switzerland, with her husband, Peter, and their two adult sons.