Stand Fast in the Lord, Phil 4:1-13

In Phil 4:1-13, the passage starts with stand fast in the Lord and ends with I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.  You say I’ve tried, but I can’t seem to stand fast.  And I don’t sense the strength in me to do ALL THINGS.  The rest of the text shows you how you can do this. It takes just four things.

v.4 Rejoice in the Lord.  Paul adds emphasis, “And again I say, Rejoice”.  People are weakened when they are discouraged.  They get down when they are depressed.  Rejoicing in the Lord brings your spirit up.  You can rejoice when you trust him, because you know, even in trials, God is good and he does good. Ps 119:68, “Thou art good, and doest good”.  Paul wrote, Stand fast IN THE LORD.  And he said, All things THROUGH CHRIST.  When you rejoice in the Lord you are counting on him, not on yourself. Rejoicing in the Lord magnifies and glorifies God.  When Jehoshaphat praised the Lord, God set the ambushment, 2 Chr 20:22.  

v.6 Be careful for nothing.  Carefulness result in anxiety and fear.  These sap all of your strength.  You don’t stand fast when you are afraid; you melt when you are careful.  The peace of God begins with not being careful.  And then you present your requests “with thanksgiving”.  A fellow called me recently and when quoting this verse he left out “with thanksgiving”.  I quoted it back to him correctly and he realized his error.  He was mad at God.  You might get mad, but don’t stay mad at God.  Thank him.  He knows what he’s doing. You can only stand fast IN THE LORD. You can only be strong enough to do all things THROUGH CHRIST.   

v.8 Think on these things.  Constantly guard your mind to think only on these things. Quit thinking immediately when you find that you aren’t thinking of these six things.  Two things note here:  

First, sin starts in your imagination.  It stems from what you think about.  If you don’t think about it, you are much less likely to do it.  You know that when you give in to sin, the shame and guilt get you down.  

Second, when you think on these things, you’re not thinking about imaginary things that aren’t true. You’re not having conversations with people who aren’t in the room.  When you catch yo0urself doing this, stop.

v.11-12 Learn to be content.  Contentment is the key to joy.  No matter your circumstances, when you are content, circumstances don’t matter.  You are IN THE LORD.  I have found that God moves to answer prayer when people get to the place of contentment.  If you aren’t content, more of what you want is never enough!!  Nothing seems to satisfy and you will try many things to find happiness.  In contentment, you are always where you want to be with the Lord. So, as you go through life, keep learning. Learn to be content. This is one of the most valuable lessons you will ever learn. Paul had to learn it and so do you.

Conclusion: You will stand fast in the Lord and be able to do all things through Christ when you do these four things Paul wrote. Rejoice in the Lord, be careful for nothing (rather be thankful), think on these things, and learn to be content.