Learning to rejoice in conflict isn’t the easiest thing to do when complaining comes naturally to most of us. Today we are looking at a very encouraging passage in Philippians 3:1 as we continue finding joy through Philippians!
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. Philippians 3:1-2
It is Hard to Rejoice in Conflict!
God is telling you to rejoice even when you suffer!
My dog is sweet, but that isn’t true of all dogs. I think we are all wary about a dog until we are positive that it won’t bite!
My Dog Sunshine!
Paul uses dogs in this verse to help us identify with the adversaries in our life.
Maybe your adversary is an antagonistic person, financial difficulties, or anything that the enemy of your soul is trying to use to discourage you.
As long as our problem is biting us like a vicious dog, it is impossible to rejoice!
Are you slow to rejoice because it is easier to grumble and complain?
Last week my thoughts spiraled down into the dumps and I became so discouraged, losing my joy and forgetting to rejoice!
Once we learn the blessings of choosing gratitude, rejoicing comes so much easier!
Paul writes from his own experience in prison where throughout the whole book of Philippians he reminds us again and again to “Rejoice in the Lord!”
Verses that Encourage You to Rejoice
What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Philippians 1:18
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Philippians 2:1-2
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:3-8
Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me. Philippians 2:17-18
I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me. Philippians 2:28-30
Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. Philippians 4:1
Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. Philippians 4:3-4
Examples of Rejoicing in Conflict
He also gives examples of Timothy and Epaphroditus who were joyful in situations that they could easily have complained about. But it isn’t easy!
When we went through deep valleys with one of our children, it would be easy to look at the negative instead of giving praise to God and finding so many ways to rejoice!
But I am rejoicing (most of the time anyhow) because of all the Lord taught me through this trying situation.
God continually showed His unending love and care for me.
Why Should You Rejoice?
You are going to face situations that do not turn out the way you’d like. When you rejoice, the tendency to complain is diminished as you culture a heart of gratitude.
- Gratitude turns negativity (aka grumbling) into Rejoicing!
- Rejoicing in Jesus faces conflict with the right attitude!
- Rejoicing eases the struggle and brings peace that passes understanding!
- Rejoicing gets your focus off yourself so you are other-centered!
Paul is warning us of how we will be challenged in rejoicing and really want to gripe and grumble. He says it is safe for you to receive this warning and to see his personal example and that of others.
That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. Philippians 3:10
If you are struggling to rejoice because of something difficult in your life, how about sharing it so I can pray for you. I’ll write it down in a notebook I have for prayer requests.