1. A New Perspective on JOY.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I
will say it again: Rejoice!
12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has
happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a
result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to
everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my
chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the
Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.
1 I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of the LORD’s wrath.
2 He has driven me away and made me walk in darkness rather than light;
3 indeed, he has turned his hand against me again and again, all day long.
4 He has made my skin and my flesh grow old and has broken my bones.
5 He has besieged me and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship.
6 He has made me dwell in darkness like those long dead. 7 He has walled
me in so I cannot escape; he has weighed me down with chains. 8 Even
when I call out or cry for help, he shuts out my prayer.
9 He has barred my way with blocks of stone; he has made my paths
crooked. 10 Like a bear lying in wait, like a lion in hiding, 11 he dragged
me from the path and mangled me and left me without help. 12 He drew
his bow and made me the target for his arrows. 13 He pierced my heart
with arrows from his quiver. 14 I became the laughingstock of all my
people; they mock me in song all day long. 15 He has filled me with bitter
herbs and given me gall to drink. 16 He has broken my teeth with gravel;
he has trampled me in the dust. 17 I have been deprived of peace; I have
forgotten what prosperity is. 18 So I say, “My splendor is gone and all that
I had hoped from the LORD.”
19 The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words.
20 I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. 21 Yet I still
dare to hope when I remember this: 22 The faithful love of the LORD
never ends! His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his
mercies begin afresh each morning. 24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my
inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”
2. A New Perspective on BOREDOM.
5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be
anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your
minds in Christ Jesus.