Summary: From a prison cell in the city of Rome, one of the Lord’s greatest servants shares with us how to experience Joy in the Christian life. In this epistle Paul mentions Joy, Gladness & Rejoicing 19 times.
Philippians 1 “Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: 2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, 5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; 6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: 7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. 8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.”
From a prison cell in the city of Rome, one of the Lord’s greatest servants shares with us how to experience Joy in the Christian life.
In this epistle Paul mentions Joy, Gladness & Rejoicing 19 times.
Jesus wants us to experience fullness of JOY.
John 15:11 “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”
Psalm 5:11 “Let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.”
The troubles & persecutions experienced by Paul are foreign to us,…
2 Cor 11:23-28 “…in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.”
Why is it that we so often see small things cause the fall of so many Christians? This is because many Christians do not understand the reasons for adversity.
Adversity is defined as… trouble, affliction, opposition, pressure, stress, chastening, anquish, testing or tribulation.
God uses Adversity to. . .
• Catch our attention. Matt 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
• Call for self-examination. 1 Cor 11:31-32 “If we would judge our-selves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, [so we are not] condemned with the world.”
• Conquer our pride. Prov 13:10 “Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.”
• Cause us to cry out to God. Ps 34:17 “The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.”
• Convince us of God’s love. Heb 12:6-7 “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?”
Paul was a joyful servant because. . .
#1. HE WAS FOCUSED ON CHRIST. Phil 1:21; 3:13-14 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain… 13Brethren, I count not myself to have appre-hended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
He was focused on…
• The Fellowship of the Gospel (1:5). Koinonia = partnership, parti-cipation, interaction, personal benefit.
• The Furtherance of the Gospel (1:12). Prok-op-ay = advancement, progress, development, expansion.
• The Faith of the Gospel (1:27). Pis’-tis = persuasion, credence; assurance, belief, fidelity.
A Christian with the right focus will do the same. James 1:8 “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
Paul was a joyful servant because. . .
#2. HE WAS FOLLOWING CHRIST. Phil 2:1-5 “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”