“Finally my brethren, Rejoice in The Lord. To write the same thing again is no trouble to me, and it is a SAFEGUARD TO YOU.”- {Phil 3:1}


The word, “SAFEGUARD” literally means, “Not to trip, stumble or BE OVERTHROWN.”

Unfair circumstances, difficult people can tempt us to give away our joy when we choose to yield to them, but it is a choice we make, difficult circumstances come our way, unwanted difficulties and we trip over them like tripping over a rock. We see the rock and for some reason we choose to walk straight into it and when we fall we blame the rock when we are the ones who SAW it and chose to trip over it. In the Spiritual realm it is like doing that also. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it. Consider Paul, he was in difficult circumstances, imprisoned, chained around the clock, envious preachers out to hurt him and yet in it all he chose to JOY IN THE LORD.

“Rejoice, “ means to be glad or delighted, to celebrate, to be cheerful. Joy is a feeling of inner gladness, delight or rejoicing. Joy for the Christian is marked by celebration and expectation of God’s ultimate victory over the powers of sin and darkness.  He could have said “rejoice.” But he relates to the right relationship they have with the LORD. It is a command, and it is “present tense” that means continuous. The pattern, habit of the life to continually delight in the LORD. And He gives us the Holy Spirit to enable us to obey the command. We are to go on constantly rejoicing in the LORD

His focus was fixed on the LORD! His delight was in a Person, the Lord Jesus. His delight, gladness, was in the assurance that Jesus Christ is LORD, He is Sovereign {Phil 2:9-11} , His delight is in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus being proclaimed in the circumstances he finds himself in-{Phil 1:3-5,12 }. This Joy is not to be confused with the emotion of happiness,  that has to do with things that happen to go my or your way, that is dependent on favorable circumstances. It is a Gift of the Holy Spirit that produces, peace, a song in the heart that says, “It is well with my soul” independent of circumstances that is rooted in a love relationship with Jesus Christ. The soul finds its soul delight, gladness in Him!

“SAFEGUARD.”(asphales from a = w/o + sphallo = throw down, trip up, totter, bring to the ground, make someone fall) Literally means that which cannot be thrown down, tripped up, tottered or overthrown. It describes that which is secure and safe from stumbling or falling. “Asphales” thus means firm, sure, secure, safety, unshakeable, certain, steady, immovable (as of the anchor in He 6:19note – see below – or in Septuagint referring to the sky above in Pr 8:28) and then figuratively referring to a state of safety, stability and security which can be relied on and hence free from danger and secure from peril. Asphales describes something that cannot be made to totter when put to the test. In Acts 2:36 the related adverb asphalos means certainly, surely, speaking of that which is known beyond a doubt.”- {Preceptaustin}

“Spiritual joy is the best safety against error.”

(Php 3:2; Ne 8:10,). {Jamieson, Fausett, Brown}

Paul did not allow unfair circumstances trip him up.

He REFUSED to bow to his Difficult Circumstances and allow them to master him. He refused to bow to Difficult People, with bitterness in response to envy of preachers who were out to hurt him. How? WELL, NOT THROUGH DENYING THE TRUTH about where he was and what was happening him, and putting his hands over his ears and singing “LA- LA- LA- LA,” OUT LOUD ENOUGH to drown out the unpleasant, indeed cruel unjust circumstance he was in, and pretend he was not suffering or in a hard place. He REFUSED, by CHOOSING TO REJOICE IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!


If you are like me, I’m looking for the “Exit” sign- But Paul as does James {James 1:2} teach, that the first thing is to REJOICE IN THE LORD!- Relate it to the LORD and Rejoice in Him! How did Paul counteract his troubles? He chose to Rejoice in the Lord. In the LORD- only is there true stabilizing reasons to find Security in times of testing!  Paul did not allow the envy and personal attacks by other preachers whose motives were to cause him pain to deter him or cause him to stoop and spiral into despair. No, there  was the Gospel to be advanced in his circumstances {Phil 1:12}. There were souls to be witnessed to {Phil 1:13}… brothers to be encouraged to speak the Word of God without fear {Phil 1:14}. He refused to give his joy away to difficult circumstances or a personal attack on his character. He was well content that Jesus Christ be proclaimed and in this he did rejoice!, He refused to allow difficult, cruel circumstances and unkind people  to cause him “to stumble or trip him up,” instead he chose to rejoice in the LORD, that the Gospel was being shared, even if from people with wrong motives. He was not concerned with his OWN feelings but that the Gospel go forth and others come to saving faith in Jesus Christ and God’s people be encouraged to speak the Word of God in their own difficult circumstances {Phil 1:14}

{The references to Rejoicing or Joy is found in 1:4, 1:18, 1:25, 2:2, 2:16, 2:17, 2:18, 2:28, 3:1, 3:3, 4:1, and 4:4.- it might be good to look at each verse and see what Paul chooses to rejoice take delight in- and then you begin to follow his PATTERN of thinking and action. Example in chapter 1:4 He delighted in the Lord’s people who were partnering in the Gospel with him. Do you have anyone whom you can talk with and perhaps you get to share or support with others in the Gospel? If you do then delight in the Lord Jesus, He has made it possible! }

To rejoice in the Lord speaks of a love relationship with the Lord.

Biblical Joy is supernatural.It is HOPE from a deep confidence in the Lord and is based on trust in Him, His Promises and power and so we can rejoice and be confident in our relationship in The Lord Jesus and the future with Him!

We can choose to Delight that Jesus Christ is in Control! God imparts this delight in Him as a Gift from the Holy Spirit and through obedience He keeps it maintained- it is supernatural delight and satisfaction in Him! HE IS THE SOURCE AND FOCUS OF JOY- DEEP HEART SATISFACTION!


“-Is a Greek word “aphales” is taken from a verb meaning “to trip up, overthrow or cause to stumble.” Here the negative prefix (“a”) is added and thus describes “that which has stability and firmness so as not to be easily tripped up or overthrown.

We can often be like a boxer in a defensive position,

on the ropes, taking a hammering, when you have the power to not only fight back but to win. Your victory in the spiritual realm, is in who you are in Him, and what He has given us as a weapon for the fight is “rejoicing in the LORD.” To choose to rejoice in the LORD, when you don’t feel like it, is to fight against…your “feelings,” “unfavorable circumstances,” which at times are “down,” and will trip you up, and cause instability…, to spiritual trip you up…is a certainty when we choose to refuse to obey the command to “Rejoice in the Lord.”

Imagine you are walking along and you see several rocks and potholes along the path, and you choose to ignore them and trip over a stone, stumble into a pothole and twist your ankle. Who’s fault is it? You chose to ignore what you knew, and paid for it. So in the spiritual realm, there is power for you to live and to choose to ignore and apply God’s wisdom for you, will end up in tripping you up spiritually in the potholes of anxiety, despair, fears, circumstances dictation to you and dominating you. “Rejoice in the LORD …IS a SAFEGUARD for you.” Is God lying to you? When you have refused to rejoice in the LORD, He not only dishonored but we stumble and are unstable spiritually, has been the reality for us.”Rejoice in the LORD… IT IS a Safeguard for you.”

Spiritual Stability results in choosing by faith to obey the LORD and follow His ways!

God wants His people to be spiritually stable, and not to easily lose their spiritual balance by being tripped over by error, false doctrines. He wants us to know the truth and be able to discern “beware…” v 2 of false, counterfeits. And it begins with us choosing to rejoice, delight in Jesus Christ, His Word. It Is in Jesus Christ we find the reason to be glad, independent of circumstances. It is Holy Spirit given. It is a fruit of obedience.

How do we keep our morale up?

Choosing to Rejoice in the Lord. This involves CHOOSING to THINK RIGHT about and ON The LORD- Trust in The Lord, DELIGHT IN THE LORD, and In doing so, will keep us from being OVERTHROWN, tripped up spiritually, trough unpleasant feelings in unfair circumstances, or with unpleasant people. It does not make them less real, “But God…” has told us how we can keep from being “Overthrown, or not to trip or Stumble” spiritually by them and that is by faith CHOOSING TO DELIGHT IN WHO THE LORD IS! HE IS IN CONTROL!  It is His Provision to spiritually stabilize us!

It begins with choosing to delight in Jesus Christ.

I choose Him as my focus amidst difficult, trying, unfair circumstances, and unkind people, and un-truths, is what Paul teaches us! So often my focus is on the circumstances and not the LORD, and like Peter I begin to sink, when I take my eyes of Jesus!  “Without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God…” and rejoicing is a matter of faith… you chose to delight in the character, person, promises  of the LORD. Joy is imparted and maintained, that satisfaction in Him that circumstances and people cannot take from you, cause you to trip or stumble over AND CAUSE YOU TO LOSE YOUR SPIRITUAL STABILITY when He is our focus, and when we choose to rest in Him. Rest in His character! The choice is yours and mine to make. Who will you chose to Focus on? Faith FOCUS’S on God. Faith Delights in Jesus Christ– God rewards faith! Look at the Obstacles before you, unfair or difficult circumstances, difficult people? You can have joy in Him, indeed Paul wrote once, “sorrowful yet always rejoicing.” Rejoicing is supernatural! A gift of God. We too often give it away when we lose sight of Him and our opportunities in difficulties to advance His Gospel.-{Read Phil 1:12}

How can you keep from going into a tail spin into discouragement?

By faith chose to Obey Jesus Christ and Delight in Him! Is this positive thinking? No, it is Bible thinking, and thr foundation is anchored in a PERSON-.{Read Luke 24:27; Phil 4:8-9;} Thinking on the TRUTH, and APPLYING it as an expression of love to Him-{Read John 14:21; James 1;22}

What is the first thing in times of Testing?

REJOICE IN THE LORD!  FOCUS on the LORD JESUS. Choose to DELIGHT IN HIM {James teaches the first thing in trials is to Rejoice, based on what you know God to be doing, maturing you -{Read James 1:2-5} – His Sovereignty, His Attributes, the end result will be to one day see Him.

  • Your Future is Certain,
  • Your Future is Secure,
  • Your Future is a Person– Jesus Christ-

Present circumstances are not permanent- your Salvation is. In the difficult place seek to rejoice and advance His Gospel in them {Phil 1:12,13-14}




  • Because He commands it!
  • Because He is Worthy.
  • Because it is a Safeguard for your good!
  • Choose to Think, Trust in Jesus Christ and BE GLAD, REJOICE- DELIGHT… in Him.



  1. Write out Philippians 3:1 on a 3 by 5 card and carry with you and when you have appropriate moments read and meditate on it and Practice Rejoicing.
  2. Read Philippians and list all the attributes concerning the LORD. Who He is . for example chapter 1 says He is affectionate. Chapter 2 He is LORD, Chapter 3:20 He is the Returning Savior. Chapter 4 He is the one who provides for all of my needs, who gives contentment. REJOICE IN each truth you find about His character. Incorporate into your prayer life
  3. List the promises found in the book of Philippians.Live in light of them. For example your citizenship ultimate destination is Heaven to be with Him!
  4. List the reasons Paul gives to rejoice and begin to practice by faith delighting in Him, in the midst of your own difficulties and in doing so Honor Him! Does this mean God will change your circumstances? Not necessarily so, but it does mean you will change your focus and it will help you deal with anxiety and in your circumstances find reasons to REJOICE IN THE LORD…OF YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES!

The word, “SAFEGUARD” literally means, “Not to trip, stumble or BE OVERTHROWN.”

“Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith.”-{Phil 3:1- NLT}.