Temple Baptist Church - 9-19-2012
A. Paul encouraged the Philippian believers to “rejoice in the Lord.” There things in this life that are hard to rejoice about.
1. We hear of the patience of Job but, as I read the Book of Job, I find that Job was not a “happy camper.” He cursed the day that he was born!
2. There are valleys that I have had to travel that were far less than pleasant and, if I could have avoided them or had it to do over, I probably would not travel that road again.
3. Our rejoicing is in the Lord, not in our circumstances.
B. “Alway” is an interesting word. It is a word not found in the spell correct of this computer. Every time I type “alway”, the word processor corrects it to “always.” “Always” is found 62 times in the Bible while “alway” is found only 23 times. When the Bible makes a distinction between the spellings, it behooves us to take a closer look at the wording.
C. Both words come from the same two root words which mean “every” and “when.” Therefore, to the casual observer, the two words are the same but this is not the case. The “s” on “always” makes the word plural while the lack of the “s” makes “alway” singular. This difference is an important one to the believer as our text verse will bear out.
1. In the context of the use of the word “always,” the meaning seems to refer to an expanse of time more than just an instance of time.
2. The seemingly opposite is true in the context of the word “alway.” It seems that “alway” refers to a specific instance of time and encompasses many instances of time but one at a time.
D. Some may differ with my interpretation of the different spellings and they are more than welcome to do so but the different spellings are a delight to this preacher! I enjoy reading Philippians 4:4 and am glad that the Holy Ghost said, “Alway!” It is and has been a joy during the hard times of my life.
E. Let me give you another instance where the Bible uses the “alway” instead of “always.” We know that the Lord said that He would never leave nor forsake us in Hebrews 13. Though the word “always” is not used, the sense of the word is there. I am glad that the Lord will be there with me and for me until the day He calls me home! But, in Matthew 18:20, He said, “And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” I believe that the difference is that, now, our Lord said that He would be with in every place, in every instance, and in every circumstance of life as we carry the gospel to a lost world. Every situation and circumstance, He is there with us while having the power to deliver and sustain us. “Even unto the end of the world” tells us that he will be with us in every circumstance all of the way home!
F. Having said all of this to explain what I think the word “alway” means, let us look at the verse.
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
G. Paul used the word “rejoice” twice in the same verse.
1. Normally, “Rejoice in the Lord” would have sufficed but Paul reinforced the word by beginning and ending the sentence with “rejoice.” It shows us the importance of having a right attitude as well as having a trusting one.
2. Our mental state has as much to do with our general outlook on life as our circumstances do. As a “merry heart” doeth good like a medicine, a positive state of mind makes our outlook on life positive. God controls and He loves His children!
1. Rejoice in the Lord during the good times of life.
a. It is easy to forget God when things go well.
Deuteronomy 8:12-14 Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; (13) And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; (14) Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;
b. We need to rejoice in the Lord because He has been so good to us.
Psalms 106:1 Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2. Rejoice in the Lord during the hard times of life.
a. We can rejoice because God’s providence controls our circumstances.
Job 23:10, 13 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold … But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.
b. We can rejoice because God provides our needs in hard times.
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
c. We can rejoice because God protects our lives in desperate situations.
2 Timothy 4:17-18 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. (18) And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
d. We can rejoice because We can count our many blessings in the valleys.
Psalms 145:8-10 The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. (9) The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. (10) All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee.
e. We can rejoice because God will bring about a right end when the trial is past.
1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.