A SAFE PLACE
PHILIPPIANS 3:1 NKJ
Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.
Paul was not apologizing for repeating himself. He did not find repetition boring or irksome but rather a safeguard. A safeguard is a precautionary measure warding off impending danger or damage.
So what was this safe place that Paul was advocating? What was the precautionary measure that could ward off danger? Rejoicing in the Lord.
At face value, rejoicing looks like a good idea. Or maybe correct Christian positioning. It seems as if it's the right thing to do as a believer, but I wouldn't have thought of rejoicing as safe.
But maybe I approached rejoicing the wrong way. Maybe I was looking at rejoicing as Christian etiquette instead of seeing it as a Christian essential.
Rejoicing will keep you on the right side of the problems that are a part of life. When we are rejoicing in the Lord, we are putting our focus on the Lord and what He has done for us. This focus helps us look past temporary problems. This focus helps us keep our joy, which is our strength. And we need strength to overcome in life.
Rejoicing helps me keep depression at bay. Rejoicing puts me on the faith side of life instead of the fear side. When I am rejoicing in the Lord, I am not complaining or angry (see yesterday's devo). When I am rejoicing, I am not worrying or speaking words that do not help and build others. Rejoicing is the safe place.
This one should not be difficult. We know what we need to do, rejoice in the Lord. For who He is, what He has done, and what He is doing now in us. The difficult part is swimming upstream against our feelings, opening our mouth, and actually rejoicing.
But remember, Paul did not say rejoicing was the easy place; he said it was the safe place.
Help me, Father, learn to rejoice in You. To rejoice in Jesus and to increase in this area more and more.