Rejoice and Praise The Lord Regardless
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.
–The Lord is at hand;
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -ESV
One of the most important lessons that all of us need to realize as Christians is that our Lord is with us through it all–good and bad. He is there when we lose our job, he is there when we fight with our wife, he is there also when we respond to his Spirit and reach out to others around us.
He is there through thick and thin. He promised us that he would be with us to the very end of the age. We might be facing tough times right now, but if you take a time out and read what Jesus and his Apostles lived through, we probably aren’t facing circumstances quite as severe as they did–as least not those of us in America. Some Christians are and we may face similar trials in the future.
Remember Paul and Silas in prison singing? The Lord was with them that night. Peter- when the chains fell off?
It reminds me of the testimony of a modern day Christian pastor that I personally know who was thrown into a Cambodian prison during the ‘killing fields’ era when all Christians were rounded up and killed. As he waited for his execution and after he was beaten every day and left for dead in his cell he began to sing: “I have a river of life flowing out from me…”.
Eventually all those in cells around him were converted. They took him out of the prison since he seem to be causing so much trouble among his fellow prisoners –put him in a hospital to bring him back to health so that they could tortured him some more and get him to reveal the identities of fellow Christians.
A East German (supposedly Communist) doctor who was actually a closet Christian helped him escape. He found his way to Southern California and pastored among the Cambodian community here until the Lord sent him back to re-establish the church in Cambodia (which is another story). The point is this Cambodia bother testifies that the Lord was with him in all of those situations and continues to be. A real lesson for us all.
The Lord is at hand and with us through it all.