By Pastor/Teacher James R. Paxton

The Apostle Paul was brought near unto death on occasion after occasion.

He was snake-bitten by a very poisonous snake. He was stoned and left for dead. He was beaten again and again, falsely accused, imprisoned and clinging to life in the sea when the boat he was on sank. Still, God used him to write over half the New Testament. The Apostle Paul wrote by inspiration and from experience. He knew that of which he spake. The call of God was mighty upon him and by the grace of God he prevailed.

It was the Apostle Paul who penned in Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”

You would think those words would have come from someone living on easy street. Not so.  The Apostle Paul wrote to you and me from difficult, troublesome and dangerous places. His journey was a perilous and life draining one. He knew adversities, lack, and seemingly hopeless situations. What was his word of wisdom for us? Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say Rejoice.

Why? Paul knew something. Situations and circumstances did not dictate nor control him. His mind was stayed on Jesus and he knew that, in so doing, the devil could not prevail against him. Temptation was placed under foot. Stress was cast aside. Fear had no dominion. He knew that if he continued to walk by faith and turn neither left nor right he would overcome because even though he might have gotten lonely, he was never alone. He might not have always had the answer but he know the answer would come. He was fully persuaded that what God had said could not fail and if he believed, he would overcome. He was right.

After all the Apostle Paul had been through, he said  “2Ti 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

The Apostle Paul left this life joyfully and pleasing in God’s sight. God is no respecter of persons. His Word is for all those that believe and walk in the light of what is written. God’s Word must be the standard and faith must be the fuel that propels us onward. God cannot lie nor can He fail. He knows we have and we can so He has sent to help us along our journey His mercy and His grace. He made a way for us through Jesus Christ and sent the Holy Ghost to teach, lead and guide us and give unto comfort when we needed it. So, REJOICE AND BE BLESSED.