We are studying the theme of JOY as expressed in the epistle to the Philippians. Used 16 times (with its variants), the term JOY reminds us of what is important in life. We have seen from the first use of the word (1:4) that we should pray for others with JOY. Is prayer a drudgery to you? Start praying for others . . . with JOY!
The second use of the term JOY is found in 1:18 and concerns the preaching of the gospel. We rejoice that the gospel is preached, but we do not affirm the many false gospels that are out there!
Yesterday we noticed the third use of the word JOY and that was also in 1:18. Paul says he will “continue to REJOICE.” Deep, biblical JOY allows us to praise and serve the Lord even in the worst of circumstances.
This morning we will look at the fourth use of the word JOY and that is also in chapter one:
25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me. (ch. 1)
Paul’s desire is that the Philippians would advance in their progress and JOY in the faith. The term “faith” is sometimes used in Scripture to refer to our confidence in God, but here (as in Jude 3) it is used to refer to the content of truth that God has revealed to us. We believe the truths of the Christian faith. And those truths ought to bring us JOY!
Let’s think about several of the Christian truths that ought to bring us JOY. Do you rejoice in the character of God (His love, holiness, mercy, sovereignty, presence, etc.)? Do you finding yourself praising Him for His leading and guiding you in the daily affairs of life? Are you grateful that He knows the end from the beginning and nothing takes Him by surprise? Are you excited to be part of His rescue mission to reach others with the incredible news of the gospel? These and may other truths ought to bring JOY to our hearts! Someone has said that the mentally and emotionally healthy are those that have learned when to say Yes, when to say No, and when to say Whoopee! (Willard S. Krabill, M.D.)
Think about and study one of the truths of the Christian faith that brings you JOY. And progress in that truth today!