Paul now changes topic (Finally, my brothers…) and in chapter three will talk of the righteousness from God that depends on faith…through faith in Christ. First, however, he issues a strong and clear command to the Philippians in 3.1,
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
Paul had evidently schooled the saints at Philippi in this mindset before (To write the same things…), but was happy enough to do it again because he knew how foundational and important it was. 3.1 is, essentially, a nutshell summary of his entire letter. Specifically, the first seven words,
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord.
No matter how we are feeling, what we are doing, or where we are going this command remains constant – rejoice in the Lord. If you’re reading this day-by-day as we first publish in mid-2020, this year probably hasn’t gone how you expected it to go, has it? Because of this, you’ve likely been feeling up, down, and messed around, stressed, depressed, and generally not your best. Paul is saying that no matter what or how you are feeling, our default response ought to be to rejoice in the Lord.
F.B. Meyer wrote on this and said,
We must steadfastly arrest any tendency to murmur and complain; to find fault with God’s dealings; or to seek to elicit sympathy.
We must as much resist the temptation to depression and melancholy as we would to any form of sin.
We must insist on watching the one patch of blue in the dark sky, sure that presently it will overspread the Heavens.
We must rest upon the promises of God in certain faith that He will triumph gloriously, and that the future will absolutely vindicate the long story of human pain.
We must cultivate a cheery optimism, and an undaunted hope.
Now, Meyer lived between 1847 and 1929, and (likely) wrote this somewhere around 1912-1921. There is no way in which he could have known the situation you currently find yourself in. Yet despite this, his words ring as true for us today as they did over one hundred years ago when he wrote them.
Today then, take each of his five statements as a challenge, a mental and emotional task. Pray through them, meditate on them, and rejoice in the Lord!