Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Paul wrote these words while he was in prison. Can you imagine that? Sitting in a cold, damp prison cell unsure about what your future holds, and celebrating the Lord as you await your fate.
Paul was able to endure every hardship because he had an anchor in his life. His anchor was Jesus Christ. It didn't matter what challenge he was facing or what trials he was going through, or what pain he might be suffering, he kept his eyes focused on Jesus. He kept his perspective on the final reward and the work he had to do here before receiving it.
Paul had his priorities in order and his perspective, what he focused on, reflected that priority.
We have the same anchor Paul had. Too often we depend on our own resources as we're going through challenges in life, and we take our eyes off the eternal and get bogged down in the the temporary problems of life.
Our trials and tribulations in this life won't last forever, but our souls do. As we go through each day, we need to look much further ahead than we typically do. We need to remember that what we do today matters. It will matter well beyond today and next week and next month. It's the sum total of our life that determines what our life ever after will be like when we get there.
(This is an excerpt from the Wednesday Night ReCharge messaged delivered at Muncie Baptist Church on May 4, 2022)
~Todd E. Creason