Summary: . Billy Sunday said if there is no joy in your religion then there is a leaky vessel, a leak in your Christianity somewhere.
Philippians 1:1 -- 2. 08/15/04
I want us to go through this book of Philippians because we can learn a lot about joy. Who is it that doesn’t want joy?
I guess you have discovered that in the Bible you will find the answers to questions of life. For instance, many people want to know who they are, where did they come from. You can find the answer in the first book of the Bible, the book of Genesis. Maybe you would like to know where you are going, and what is going to be the end. Then you just turn to the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation and there it is. You see, the Bible is not just one book but 66 books. We have a wonderful library in our home when we have the Bible.
We also find as we move along in life there is a need for wisdom to handle problems that come in life. All of us encounter problems in life. So, we go to the book of Proverbs, God’s book of wisdom and there are the answers.
Then there is the emotional ups and downs in life. Sometimes we are up and sometimes we are down. The book of Psalms touches every emotion we can find in life. It is the Old Testament’s songbook. I want you to know that the Bible, the Word of God, has the answers to all questions we encounter in life.
Then we move into the joy question. Do you have a joyful life? I know what some of you are thinking. You say sometimes I have joy sometimes I don’t. Thank you for being honest. What you are saying is that your joy has to do with your circumstances. But your goal is to have joy. I have never met anyone who says my goal in life is to be miserable as I possibly can. Everybody wants to have joy.
I want to tell you that the world’s definition of joy and happiness is the same. Now the Bible tells us as Christians we are in the world but not of the world. That tells us that we don’t think like the world. The world says your happiness; your joy is determined by how things are going in life. If the children are doing well and the TV is working and the boss is cordial, then I have joy and happiness.
What I want you to understand is that joy and happiness are two different words and their meanings are different. Happiness has to do with circumstances, things that are happening in your life. Joy, on the other hand is a Christian Word. It is a word that arises out of the Christian faith. Billy Sunday said if there is no joy in your religion then there is a leaky vessel, a leak in your Christianity somewhere. Joy is something that comes from Jesus. The night before Jesus was crucified he said these words, “these things have I spoken unto you that my joy might remain in you and that your joy might be full.” Joy is gladness in your heart that comes when Jesus comes in your life as your personal savior. The only place you can get joy is to have Jesus in your life. Now preacher, are you saying that a lost person cannot have joy? That is exactly what I am saying. There are times of happiness but again it is according to the circumstances they find themselves.
The book of Philippians tells us how to have joy, how to maintain and grow that joy. This is the book. It doesn’t take long to read it and in this book is a lot of information about how to have joy.
Now the devil is out there to do all that he can to rob you of your joy. Losing your joy is something that you allow to happen to you. If your circumstances find you in God, then you will find God in your circumstances. But if you are looking to circumstances instead of to Jesus, then you find circumstances can rob you of your joy. We will talk about that more in chapter 1.
Tonight we will sort of get an overview of the entire book. Paul mentioned something else that can rob you of your joy. Look at verse 4. He is talking about other people. People can bring you great joy but on the other hand, people can rob you of your joy.
The third chapter he talks about another thief. Look at verse 7. Things can rob you of your joy. A person that looks to things, material possessions for joy will not find it.
You come over to the fourth chapter and notice verse 6. Translated, that means worry. That means don’t worry about anything. Worry will rob you of your joy.