Summary: How does my perspective affect my attitude? How is suffering benficial to my Christian walk?
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The Fight for Joy
He's there because he's been lied about by the Jews (see everywhere in Acts), held in jail by a crooked politician hoping to get richer from a bribe to let Paul loose, (Acts 24:22-26), left in prison for a political favor (Acts 24:27), called "Crazy" by the judge of his trial, had to appeal to Caesar... and then was shipwrecked on the way... now he's on house arrest, paying for his own prison, can't move around...
And you read this letter and he uses the word "joy" or "rejoice" 16 times in 4 chapters.
Here's my question:
HOW IS THIS GUY NOT DEPRESSED????!!!!!
I am not down on Christians who get depressed, OK? If you do, you're in good company (Elijah, John the Baptist, Jeremiah, and more).
But one thing I know to be true is this: JOY in the Christian life is not an ever-springing well that never leaves... it must be fought for, it must be contended for, it must be guarded, it must be cultivated.
And here's what I want to do in this book:
I want to point out to you, Keys to Fighting for Joy. Perspectives, mindset shifts, habits of thought that lead to joy.
Joy does not happen around you, it happens within you -- in your heart and between your ears.
Paul has discovered this -- the secret to joy, and he's wining the fight.
He's fighting for joy. You will have to fight for the perspectives that give joy.
Where the mind of man goes, the man follows.
"As a man thinks in his heart, so is he..." says proverbs.
Last week: Perspective# 1. I am not alone, and I am thankful for the people I'm with.
"your partnership in the Gospel"
They had sent him a gift, and he's writing to thank them (we'll discuss this more later)
And it just reminds him "I'm not alone!"
Now, let's read to see if we can see the next perspective Paul has and has fought for that brings joy:
Philippians 1:12 Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.
13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.
Throughout the whole palace guard -- the Praetorians. If you know history, these guys were the handpicked bodyguards of the Emperor, fierce warriors, and some of them were probably retired now and living in Philippi...
These tough, battle-hardened, Roman influencers... who literally assassinated and set up emperors...
The whole palace guard knows.
I hurt, but Jesus is lifted up.
14 Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.
Pain well taken is a source of courage in others.
I hurt, but you are helped.
15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill.
16 The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.