September 17, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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In this study guide, we’ll discuss key thoughts and practical ideas from Philippians 4:1–9. Discover how you can live with joy in any and all circumstances, how joy overcomes anxiety, and the key ingredient to having the peace of God.
Ice Breaker: What was the last thing you did that gave you child-like joy?
Memory Verse: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”—Philippians 4:4–5 (NIV)
How are we supposed to rejoice . . . always? The answer lies in the three words connecting “rejoice” and “always,” as the reconciliation of this apparent dilemma resides “in the Lord.” Apart from the Lord, it’s impossible to find joy in every circumstance. But in Him, all of that changes in two distinct ways.
First of all, we can always rejoice in the Lord when He is our object. The Lord is who He is, and He’s beyond any earthly description—we could never accurately or fully define Him. We use words like loving, patient, merciful, awesome, glorious, and so on to convey a sense of His character. But in reality, He’s more wonderful than we can articulate or comprehend. And get this, He will always be this way! No matter what we experience in this life, there’s always a basis for rejoicing in who the Lord is.
Secondly, we can always rejoice in the Lord when He is our resource. Once we’re brought into a relationship with the Lord by faith, we instantly possess an inheritance of spiritual riches greater than all worldly wealth (Ephesians 1:3). In the Lord, we have a spiritual account that’s eternally resourced by Him and totally independent of earthly factors! We need peace, we have sufficient funds! We need wisdom, we have sufficient funds! We need compassion, we have sufficient funds!
Rejoicing isn’t contingent on what’s happening to us in this world. It’s far greater than that! As you go through life, remember that rejoicing is based on who the Lord is and what He provides for us in Him. As you get ready to discuss this topic, be thinking about the things that bring you joy and peace and the things that make you anxious and rob you of joy and peace.
Discussion Question 1: What words or phrases of today’s Scripture stand out to you the most, and why?
Discussion Question 2: What does this passage teach you about Jesus? What does it teach you about yourself?
Discussion Question 3: How is it possible to always rejoice? Where does this truth get tested in your life and how does this passage help you to overcome those tests?
Discussion Question 4: What “unknown” brings you anxious thoughts when it comes to mind?
Discussion Question 5: What is the key to walking in the peace of God and having it guard your heart and mind in Christ?
Give yourself 15 minutes to list the things you’re grateful for. Write them down so you can see them in front of you in a tangible way. Then say a prayer specifically for that “unknown,” and then give God a praise of thanksgiving for the things you’ve listed and whatever else may come to mind.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.