Proverbs 17 & Philippians 4

Proverbs 17

    Better is a dry morsel with quiet
        than a house full of feasting with strife.
    A servant who deals wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully
        and will share the inheritance as one of the brothers.
    The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
        and the LORD tests hearts.
    An evildoer listens to wicked lips,
        and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.
    Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker;
        he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.
    Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,
        and the glory of children is their fathers.
    Fine speech is not becoming to a fool;
        still less is false speech to a prince.
    A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of the one who gives it;
        wherever he turns he prospers.
    Whoever covers an offense seeks love,
        but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
    A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding
        than a hundred blows into a fool.
    An evil man seeks only rebellion,
        and a cruel messenger will be sent against him.
    Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs
        rather than a fool in his folly.
    If anyone returns evil for good,
        evil will not depart from his house.
    The beginning of strife is like letting out water,
        so quit before the quarrel breaks out.
    He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous
        are both alike an abomination to the LORD.
    Why should a fool have money in his hand to buy wisdom
        when he has no sense?
    A friend loves at all times,
        and a brother is born for adversity.
    One who lacks sense gives a pledge
        and puts up security in the presence of his neighbor.
    Whoever loves transgression loves strife;
        he who makes his door high seeks destruction.
    A man of crooked heart does not discover good,
        and one with a dishonest tongue falls into calamity.
    He who sires a fool gets himself sorrow,
        and the father of a fool has no joy.
    A joyful heart is good medicine,
        but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
    The wicked accepts a bribe in secret
        to pervert the ways of justice.
    The discerning sets his face toward wisdom,
        but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
    A foolish son is a grief to his father
        and bitterness to her who bore him.
    To impose a fine on a righteous man is not good,
        nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.
    Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,
        and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
    Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
        when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

(Proverbs 17 ESV)

Philippians 4

    Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.

    I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

    Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

    I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

    Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

    Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar's household.

    The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

(Philippians 4 ESV)

Philippians 4: It serves as a great benefit for us to constantly be uplifted out from the midst of the trees in order to see the vastness of the entire forest and what awaits for us at its end. We have this great tendency to seek new revelation in life when the truth of the matter is that we need reminders more than we need new revelation. We need to be reminded that we have a rock solid foundational reason to “rejoice in the Lord always”. 

For many people, the idea of rejoicing no matter our circumstances seems to border on denial and disillusionment. However, rejoicing in the Lord doesn’t require a denial of our circumstances but rather a reminder that our circumstances don’t define us. For the Christian, to live is Christ and to die is truly gain. We have counted everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ, and therefore there is reason to rejoice no matter what we are currently enduring or experiencing.      

We may not know the reason for what we may have to endure at times in this life, but the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ clearly reminds us that whatever we are having to endure, we are not enduring it because God doesn’t love us or have a plan for us. No matter what we may experience here in this life, it will fail to compare to what our Lord willingly endured and experienced in order to secure us the immeasurable gift of eternal life. 

Therefore, may we establish our hearts (James 5) being reminded of the gospel which is true, the gospel which is honorable, the gospel which is just, the gospel which is pure, the gospel which is lovely, the gospel which is commendable, the gospel which is excellent and again the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ who is certainly worthy of all our praise. May the love demonstrated by our Lord through the ultimate denial of Himself in order to be crucified for us secure us in the truth that we may come to Him in anxious prayer expecting the peace of God which surpasses all understanding in return. The Lord is God, and the Lord is good. We have every reason to rejoice.