Have you ever known people who seem to be happy, peaceful and even joyful in the good times and the bad times. Even when it seems they have every right to be complaining, they seem to be content.
Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi is often called the joy letter. He wrote this letter to first century Christians who were being persecuted and treated terribly just for being Christians. You don’t have to be having a good life to have a joyful life.
There is a difference in happiness and joy. Joy is an inner happiness that is not affected by your circumstances. You can learn to be a person full of joy, a person who is always happy from the inside. The Bible makes it clear the new life Jesus came to give us is a joyful one.
Paul writes to the Philippians (Philippians 4:4-9)
4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
- Be glad … Be full of joy in the Lord …. If your joy is in the Lord then you can have joy no matter the circumstances. Be happy from the inside out living trusting in God’s promises vs. 4
- Care about others in all you do. When your focus is on loving others you don’t spend so much time thinking about yourself. vs. 5
- Remember that God is with you all the time. As a spiritually reborn Christian Jesus sent you the Holy Spirit to be your constant companion, counselor, and encourager. (John 16:13) vs. 5
- After just a short period of time on earth you will spend eternity with God vs 5
- Give God all of your problems. Let go and let God. He wants to take care of it and He knows what is best for you. vs. 6
- Stay in constant conversation with God. vs. 6,7
- Be thankfull. vs. 6
- Focus on good things. Be careful what you put in your mind and heart and strive to do what is right and encourage others to do so. vs. 8
- Look at people and situations through the eyes of God. vs. 8
- Be what God wants you to be and be at peace with God and through God. vs. 9
It does not matter what is going on in your life. You can have peace and joy from the inside out.
Question: Have you had times that were bad on the outside and you had peace and joy from the inside?
Question: Have you been inspired to have this kind of joy from someone else?