NLT Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition - Flipbook - Page 87
1 Pet 5:7
Rom 15:33; 16:20
1 Cor 14:33
1 Thes 5:23
1 Tim 6:6
1 Cor 4:11
2 Cor 11:9
2 Cor 12:9-10
P h i l i pp i a n s
4Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5Let everyone see that you
are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.*
6Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need,
and thank him for all he has done. 7Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds
anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live
in Christ Jesus.
8And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is
true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things
that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9Keep putting into practice all you learned and
received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of
peace will be with you.
Paul’s Thanks for Their Gifts
10How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always
been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. 11Not that I was ever in
need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12I know how to live on
almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation,
whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13For I can do everything
4:5 Greek the Lord is near.
broken relationships with others who are committed to the same cause.
But we have no excuse for remaining unreconciled. Do you need to
be reconciled to someone today? If you’re facing a conflict you can’t
resolve, don’t let the tension build into an explosion. Don’t withdraw or
resort to cruel power plays. Don’t stand idly by and wait for the dispute
to resolve itself. Instead, seek the help of those known for peacemaking.
4:3 The identity of this “true partner” remains a mystery. It could be
Epaphroditus, the bearer of this letter, or a comrade of Paul’s in prison.
It could also be someone named Syzygus, the Greek word for “partner.”
Paul mentions this person specifically in their role as a peacemaker.
4:3 Those “whose names are written in the Book of Life” are all who are
marked for salvation through their faith in Christ (also see Luke 10:17-20;
4:4-5 Ultimate joy comes from Christ dwelling within us. Christ will
come again, and at his second coming we will fully realize this ultimate
joy. He who lives within us will fulfill his final purposes for us.
4:4 How strange that a man in prison could tell a church to rejoice. But
Paul’s attitude teaches us an important lesson: Our outward circumstances
do not need to dictate our inner attitudes. Paul was full of joy because
he knew that no matter what happened to him, Jesus Christ was with
him. Several times in this letter Paul urges the Philippians to be joyful,
probably because they needed to hear this. It’s easy to get discouraged
about unpleasant circumstances or to take unimportant events too se
riously. If you haven’t been joyful lately, let the Holy Spirit remind you
that true joy is found in the Lord and the promise of his second coming.
4:5 We are to be considerate (reasonable, fair-minded, and charitable)
to those outside the church, not just to fellow believers. This means we
are not to seek revenge against those who treat us unfairly, nor are we
to be overly vocal or demanding about our personal rights.
4:6-7 Imagine never worrying about anything! That may seem im
possible; everyone has worries on the job, at home, at school. But Paul’s
advice is to turn our worries into prayers. Do you want to worry less?
Then pray more! Whenever you start to worry, stop and pray. Also take
time to listen to what God has to say to you, and thank him for all the
good work he has done—in your life, in your church, in your community,
and in the world.
4:7 God’s peace is different from the world’s peace (see John 14:27).
True peace is not found in positive thinking, in absence of conflict, or in
good feelings. It comes from trusting God to work everything out in a
way that is best for you as you fulfill your role in God’s work in the world.
Our citizenship in Christ’s Kingdom is sure, our destiny is set, and we
can have victory over sin. Let God’s peace guard your heart against the
anxieties of this world that try to bring you down and keep your focus
off Jesus. When we trust God, he gives us a peaceful perspective in a
traffic jam, on a difficult phone call, in a troubled relationship, and even
when death draws near.
4:8 What we put into our minds determines what comes out in our
words, desires, and actions. Paul tells us to train our minds to focus on
thoughts that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excel
lent, and worthy of praise. Do you have problems with impure thoughts
and daydreams? Examine what you are putting into your mind through
movies, the Internet, books, conversations, television, video games, and
magazines. Replace harmful input with wholesome material. Above all,
read God’s Word and pray. Ask God to help you fill your mind with good
and pure thoughts. This takes practice, but it can be done.
4:9 It’s not enough to hear or read the Word of God or even to know it
well. We must also put what God is teaching us into practice. How easy
it is to listen to a sermon and forget what the preacher said. How easy it
is to read the Bible and not think about how to live differently. How easy
it is to debate what a passage means and not live out that meaning.
Exposure to God’s Word is not enough. It must lead to obedience.
4:10-14 Are you getting along happily—being content—in any circum
stances you face? Paul knew how to be content whether he had plenty
or whether he was in need. The secret was drawing on Christ’s power for
strength. Do you have great needs, or are you discontent because you
don’t have what you want? Learn to rely on God’s promises and Christ’s
power to help you be content. If you always want more, ask God to
remove that desire and teach you contentment in every circumstance.
Thank him each day for all the blessings you do have. He will meet all
your needs, but in a way that he knows is best for you. (For more on how
God meets our needs, see the note on 4:19.)
4:10 In 1 Corinthians 9:11-18, Paul wrote that he didn’t accept gifts from
the Corinthian church because he didn’t want to be accused of preaching
only to get money. But Paul maintained that a church has the responsibility
to support God’s ministers (1 Corinthians 9:14). He accepted the Philip
pians’ gift because they gave it willingly and because he was in need.
4:12-13 Paul was content because he could see life from God’s point
of view. He focused on what he was supposed to do, not what he felt
he should have. Paul had his priorities straight, and he was grateful for
everything God had given him. Paul had detached himself from the
nonessential so that he could concentrate on the eternal. Often the desire
for something more or better indicates a longing to fill an empty place in
a person’s life. To what are you drawn when you feel empty inside? How
can you find true contentment? The answer lies in your perspective, your
priorities, and your source of power.
4:13 Can we really do everything? We receive all the power we need in
union with Christ when we do his will and face the challenges that arise
from our doing it. He does not grant us superhuman ability to accomplish