We recently purchased a home in the area. It’s been a long, 3-year journey to get to this point, lined with disappointment and missed opportunities. It was grueling as we’d spend half a year looking at houses, then take a break for six months before starting again.
Several houses looked great, only to slip away because someone offered more than us or inspections didn’t pan out. Other houses could have worked for our family, but we’d have to put lots of money and effort making them functional and “ours” as it were.
As we searched, there were moments when we weren’t sure we’d actually have a place of our own. It even felt like maybe God was not going to provide our needs. We certainly didn’t feel like celebrating throughout much of this process.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Philippians 4:4 (ESV)
It’s interesting that Paul doesn’t qualify his statement about rejoicing—he just said to do it. Rejoicing is a choice we make independent of circumstances. In fact, Paul connects our ability to rejoice in all circumstances not to our own power, but Christ’s:
Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:5-7 (ESV)
Anxiety and worry draw us away from “rejoicing in the Lord always”. So we take our anxious hearts to God and let Him do His thing. We let His peace fill our hearts and push that anxiety away. We focus on who God is—our Loving provider, our Savior, our Comforter—and rejoice in the Lord always!