When someone else is going through a difficult time, I often wonder how anything I could say would comfort them. This morning I was reminded that it's not my past or current experience that will make the difference. Instead it is faith in God's great character that truly brings peace and joy.
Going back to Philippians 4:4 one more time, I want to highlight one phrase: Rejoice in the Lord. We are not required to rejoice in circumstances or "happenings." Secular happiness is focused on what happens in life (and we always want those events to be good). Circumstances are unpredictable and ultimately out of our control. Rejoicing (true biblical joy) is based on God's never-changing attributes. He always has everything under His sovereign control (Malachi 3:6a).
Doug Lowery, Christian Growth from A to Z, (Greenville SC: Ambassador Emerald, 2007), 79.