All of this means that the call to contentment is a summons to realize and accept our place in Christ and his body – and, more broadly, our place in the gift exchange in society through common grace. This cuts off at the root the discontentment – ambition – to change our station in life not only in the direction of prosperity, but also in a self-imposed poverty (Philippians 4:12-13).
– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 138-139
Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say Rejoice (Philippians 4:4). All our joy must terminate in God, and our thoughts of God must be delightful thoughts. Delight Thyself in the Lord (Psalm 37:4)…Observe, it is our duty and privilege to rejoice in God, and to rejoice in him always; at all times, in all conditions, even when we suffer for him, or are afflicted by him. We must not think the worse of him or of his ways for the hardships we meet with in his service. There is enough in God to furnish with matter of joy in the worst circumstances on earth…Joy in God is a duty of great consequences in the Christian life; and Christians need to be again and again called to it.
– Matthew Henry
as quoted by Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; copyright 2004; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il.; p. 48
Just as we must learn to bring the appetites of our bodies under control, so we must also learn to bring our though lives under obedience to Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:20-23; Proverbs 23:7; Philippians 4:8; Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:23; I Peter 1:14).
– Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness, Navpress, copyright 1978, page
A second implication of being alive to God is that He has given us His Holy Spirit to live within us. Actually this is not a second result but another way of looking at our union with Christ, for the Holy Spirit is the agent of this union. It is He who gives spiritual life and the strength to live that life (Romans 8:9-11). It is the Spirit of God who works in us that we may decide and act according to God’s will good purpose. (Philippians 4:13)
– Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness, Navpress, copyright 1978, page 74
Only as I reckon on these twin facts – that I am dead to sin and its reign over me and that I am alive to God, united to Him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:11-13) – can I keep sin reigning in my mortal body.
– Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness, Navpress, copyright 1978, page 73
Jesus died to slay the very lust that entangles you. In fact, it has you trapped precisely because you’re no match for it. You may be worn and exhausted from the grief and shame of it, ready to throw up your hands and surrender to a life of sin. But there is stored up in Christ plenty of strength to relieve you (Philippians 4:13). In your deepest distress and anguish, consider the fullness of grace, the riches, the treasures of strength, might, and help that are stored in him for your help (John 1:16, Colossians 1:19). Remember that “God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel” (Acts 5:31). And if he gives repentance, then he puts to death the flesh, because there can’t be repentance without striking a blow to the flesh. Working faith in Christ this way is how we remain in him and find his cleansing power (John 15:3; Romans 11:20)
– Kris Lundgaard, The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin, copyright 1998, page 143
[Some Christians] say things like “Don’t pursue joy; pursue obedience.” But Christian Hedonism responds, “That’s like saying, ‘Don’t eat apples; eat fruit.’ Because joy is an act of obedience. We are commanded to rejoice in God. If obedience is doing what God commands, then joy is not merely the spin-off of obedience, it is obedience. The Bible tells us over and over to pursue joy: “Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones; and shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart” (Psalm 32:11). “Let the nations be glad and sing for joy” (Psalm 67:4). “Delight yourself in the Lord” (Psalm 37:4). “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)
– John Piper, The Dangerous Duty of Delight, copyright 2001, page 15