"It is your security", Phil. 3:1. WHAT is our security?
Rejoicing in the Lord. Read the whole verse.
"Security" is a much-worked word these days. We hear it on
every hand. And, as men use it, it means money or its equivalent. It
DOES include this, but covers other things, also.
We may have money, but no happiness, no friends, no calmness of life,
none of the things that make life worthwhile. Let us consider security
in its larger aspect.
We are not to think of this text in terms of salvation. Paul wrote to
saints in Christ Jesus. These HAVE salvation. They are secure in this
It is well to note that Paul does not say that rejoicing in the Lord
will BRING security, it IS security. In other words, the rejoicing is
To rejoice in the Lord is to really have confidence in Him. It means a
life in which doubt plays no part. We are confident that He is OUR
Saviour, and that He is also the Saviour of ALL MANKIND. We believe that
His grace touches all, and that mankind are not only living, moving and
existing in Him, but also in his grace, which is to say, in His favor.
We believe that He is interested, not only in our reaching, some time,
the state of final bliss and glory, but that He is also interested in
our every step along the way. He provides, not merely salvation, but
also food, clothing, health, friends, homes, and other things that are
needed to bless us while we are in the present state of existence. To
believe this, and to appreciate it, is to rejoice in the Lord.
Such belief puts us in good humor, and our life is a merry one. We find
that life and service are "fun," to use a modern expression
which I like very much. Fun is not necessarily frivolity. It is good
humor laughing in the spirit of Christ, and going about with a cheery
smile and greeting people with a hearty welcome. Frowns, woeful words,
viewing with alarm, constant expectation of the worst --- these do not
grow out of complete trust in God. They do not mix with rejoicing in the
Neither does chronic complaining mix with it. I remember that I once
visited a lady who was a chronic complainer. The first ten minutes were
spent listening to her complain that no one ever visited her. Then she
launched into a complaint because a family had visited her some days
before, and had not notified her that they were coming. "I got 'em
told, too," she boasted. I sought to turn the conversation into a
more pleasant channel. I remarked about how good the weather was.
"Yes," she said, "and I've been sitting out here on the
porch for an hour, and many persons have passed, and do you think they
even looked my way?" I gave up and left.
It had never occurred to her that people passed her by for the same
reason that they would not draw their chairs up to an iceberg on a cold
day. And she had never thought that her wretched state of health was
caused by her sour frame of mind. She would have said that she was in
ill humor because she was sick. The opposite was true. If she ever had a
hopeful thought I never knew it.
Did she have security? Not much! All that her son could earn was being
spent to pay a doctor who was vainly trying to make her secure in
health. Her son was working hard to make her secure in money matters.
yet her life was being spent in believing that there was nothing for her
except sickness and poverty. Her faith did not envision the fact that
God is the Provider. She expected nothing from Him, even though He is
immensely rich in glory in Christ Jesus. And she got but little. She had
alienated her friends by complaining. Had she much security? Rejoicing
in the Lord IS security --- health security, money security, friends
security, mind security, poise security.
Poise means balance, equilibrium. It is the opposite of a frantic state
of mind. It is the result of confidence. It is the opposite of panic. Of
all people, a saint should have poise. He should not "go to
pieces." He should have a calmness of life, thought, disposition.
If he really rejoices in the Lord, and knows what the Lord is doing, he
does not go about with a weighted-down appearance, neither does he
become embittered toward someone who has sought to do him harm.
Perhaps no man ever exhibited more poise under distressing conditions
than did Abraham Lincoln, during the War Between the States. The secret
of this is not known to many, even in this day. It lies in the fact, as
revealed in a book published many years ago, that Lincoln trusted God to
bring, at last, all mankind into His embrace. This faith begat a feeling
of certainty that He cares for us all the way. This is why the Great
Emancipator's tender heart did not break under the strain. Pose he had,
in great abundance.
The reason Paul could forget the things that were behind and stretch out
toward the goal, was, he rejoiced in the Lord, and did not think that he
had to fight his own battles. And because of that rejoicing he could
write that tender letter to Philemon, showing the sweet spirit of
"Paul the aged". When we disregard unpleasant deeds done by
others to us, we eventually forget them. And this gives poise, calmness,
lack of complaining, so that, no matter how many years we have lived, we
are still young in spirit. Other things being right we have good health.
We have no "chip on our shoulder." We do not "have it
in" for anyone.
Such a disposition is security. I expect things from the Lord because i
rejoice in Him. And I have them --- money, friends, health, calm nerves.
This is security. Many ailments in my life have been cured, not because
I have any ability to perform miracles, but because there is such a
thing as the influence of mind over matter, and when I carry, in my
subconscious, as well as my conscious mind, the certainty that i will be
cured, it come to pass. This is security.
There have been times when I expected generous donations from the
brethren, and trusted the Lord for it, carrying in my mind no doubt that
it would be so, and it has been so. This is security.
I have expected friendship and fellowship, trusting God for it, and not
doubting, and it has come to pass. This is security.
There is nothing haphazard about this. It works as surely as the law of
germination works when we plant seed in the ground. God is rich. He has
not told me that this life must be spent in want and suffering. he has
plenty. Faith receives it, because the person of faith is able to
appreciate it, and praise God for it.
Through the years we have become so accustomed to looking at the
physical, that we have become unmindful that man is far more spiritual
than material. It is spirit that gives life and movement to the
physical. We have expected physical benefits from physical effort, and
have not thought that the spirit must also be enlisted. What a glorious
thing it is to reach the point that we believe God does great things for
us through our spirit, in connection with the spirit of Christ and that
of God --- does things for the "outer man," through the
working of the "inner man".
God told us this a long time ago. But we have been so dull that we have
not heard Him. He said, "As a human thinks in his heart, so is
he." In view of this declaration, we have reason to think good,
with the assurance that we shall HAVE good.
I once asked a preacher who was recently converted to the doctrine of
the salvation of all mankind, "Why don't the people of your church
shout in their meetings as they once did?" He replied, "In my
case, I found that I had such a narrow view of god, that I had nothing
to shout about. But I have now, since I have learned WHO and WHAT God
We might find much good humor in the Bible, were it not for the fact
that we have been taught to read it with a long face. For instance, what
is more humorous than the trick God played on the wise men of Babylon,
when He caused the king to forget his dream, and the king demanded that
the wise men tell him what he had dreamed?
There is much humor in the fact that God, in spite of all, is working
the very things that men think are against Him, in a way that they are
all FOR Him.