Summary: What is your source of Joy.
The Elements of Joy
People today are consumed by the pursuit of happiness. Self help books, motivational speakers, and advice columnists claim to offer the key to happiness, but for many people the door remains locked.
Unable to control their circumstances, these same people find themselves being controlled by their circumstances. They are playing the DUMP-n-GO game. They keep things around them that keep them happy until it fails to do so, and then they dump it and look for something else to replace it.
Happiness may be the ever-elusive feeling that we all look for at one point or another in life. But joy on the other hand is something that is available to us all, Biblical joy that is. Well what is the difference? Happiness is defined as an attitude of satisfaction or delight based on positive circumstances largely beyond their control. It cannot be planned, controlled, or guaranteed. Biblical Joy is the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying. This is the joy that Paul had when he wrote the epistle of Philippians. As the majority of us can remember Paul didn’t write this letter from his lavish office, reclining in his big desk chair. Paul penned this letter from his jail cell in Rome while under arrest awaiting trial.
So how can a man about to face trial been filled with such joy. Let’s take a look, just how Paul found this joy.
READ PHIL. 1:1-8
The Five Elements of Joy – As Paul related them to other believers
I. The Joy of Recollection (1:3)
a. Thank is from the Latin word eucharisteo, which derives from the remembrance of Christ sacrifice on the cross
b. My God reflects Paul’s deep intimacy and communion with the Lord
i. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians was to God, emphasizing both that God is the ultimate source of our joy and that only through God could Paul have this relationship with the Philippians.
c. Paul’s remembrance of the Philippians began during his 2nd missionary journey, when he came to Philippi for the first time.
i. He was directed by the Holy Spirit
ii. Paul and Silas had intended to go to Bithynia, but God had other plans.
iii. Paul’s first convert was Lydia one of only two people in the synagogue at the time of his arrival. The Lord opened her heart as soon as she heard the gospel.
1. Lydia and her household were the first Christian converts in Europe and the beginning of the Philippians church.
iv. Paul would have also remember the young demon possessed slave girl, that went from being a nuisance to Paul’s ministry for days to being a child of God.
v. Paul would have also remembered that the church of Philippi, was one of the few that supported Paul financially.
d. Wonderfully memories of how God has worked in your lives and the lives of people around us, will always being a feeling of joy to our hearts.
II. The Joy of Intercession (1:4)
a. Interceding before God on the behalf of others will always serve as a indispensable element of joy for believers.
i. Faithful and sincere intercession is much more then a obligation, it is a joy to step in the gap for a fellow believer
b. The word prayer is used twice in this verse
i. The noun for prayer, deesis, which basically means request or supplication always addressed to God.
c. We need to remember t the time of this epistle Paul was at a difficult and painful time in his ministry, but instead of dwelling on self as the devil would have liked him to do, he made intercession for his fellow believers to continue carrying the gospel forward.
d. If you have nothing but negative thoughts about others, a pure lack of concern for others well being, and fail to intercede on their behalf; there is a good change that you have lost the joy that Paul speaks of.
III. The Joy of Participation (1:5)
a. The word for participation is koinonia, which commonly refers to fellowship and communion and has the root meaning of sharing something in common.
b. Paul rejoiced that the Philippians were saved and partners of his in spreading the gospel.
i. This partnership also included their generous financial support of him.
c. The one thing by far though that we all share, is our oneness in Christ.
d. William Hendriksen listed eight aspects of Christian koinonia
i. Grace, faith, prayer, thanksgiving, love, service, contributing to the needs of others, separation from the world, and spiritual warfare.
e. Any Christian who willingly forsakes the fellowship with other believers will inevitably be without genuine, God given joy.
IV. The Joy of Anticipation (1:6)
a. Nothing can encourage a Christian more then the knowledge that, despite life’s uncertainties and difficulties, and not matter how many spiritual defeats we may take, one day we will be made perfect.