There is a constant call in Paul’s letter to the Philippians to rejoice. Six times in these four chapters, Paul tells them that he is rejoicing and calls for his friends in Philippi to rejoice also.
But did you know that Paul is writing this letter from jail?
In fact, Paul was in prison at least three different times during his ministry, before eventually being executed. He knew from day one that he would likely be killed for Jesus.
Yet Paul still rejoiced.
He even called his friends to rejoice while they were being undermined by neighbors’ envy and rivalry (1:15), confronted with evildoers (3:2), and struggling with anxiety (4:6).
We see in Philippians a call to rejoice even in the trials and hardships of life. How can we do this? We rejoice in the hope of the gospel. We “rejoice in the Lord” (3:1) because no matter how many good or bad things we experience in this life, we can “count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus [our] Lord” (3:8). We have righteousness, faith, and resurrection in Christ.
Paul does not say that life is suddenly easy when we begin to follow Jesus. There are trials. There is pain. But amidst these hardships of life, we still have Jesus as our Savior, and because of him, we rejoice.