Summary: The secret of joy in life is not in money, jobs or things but found in something that we can’t see, taste or touch. Invisible but life changing. Joy is only found in Christ.
Part 10- The Secret of Joy
We have made it to the end. It’s been a long journey with a slight break for a few weeks but today is the final message our Illuminate series. Today we finish the message talking about the secret of Joy. Through out this series Paul in his letter to the Philippians has tackled many topics. He has spoken to us on how to have joy in humility, anxiety, death, suffering, exhaustion, conflict and temptation. I hope this series has helped you to trust Christ to help you overcome one or more of these areas we have discussed or an area we haven’t discussed but that God spoke to you about. This series will unfortunately be my last as your pastor. I want to say that I am so grateful for your prayers and encouraging words, letters and emails over the last few weeks. It’s a reminder to me of just how many lives the Lord has allowed us to touch here. Next week- Max, June 21st- Mark Adams. We will then have normal services unless it changes from now to then on June 28, July 5 and July 12, which as I said a few weeks ago will be my final service before we move.
That time is still a ways off so let’s forget that for a while and let’s get into God’s Word closing out our Illuminate series by looking at the secret of joy. Phil. 4:10-23. Paul emphasizes two things in this passage and these two things are what lead us to the secret of Joy. They are contentment and Christ. Here is what I want you to take home this morning: Joy is found in contentment and contentment is found in Christ. Take away all the extra stuff and you can boil it down to the simple truth that Joy in this life is only found in a relationship with Christ. Joy is found in Christ. The fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5 speaks of things we all, as believers, long for which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. All of these can not enter into us nor flow out of us without Christ in us and Christ cannot be in us if we have not answered the call of God and the stirring of our Spirits by repenting of our sin and believing in Jesus as our Savior and opening our lives for him to take over and completely control us. When Christ is our master and we are his slaves then we can do all things through him that his will desires for us to do. Full surrender to Christ will absolutely bring the joy in us that we so desperately seek.
Will that life of full obedience to Christ be easy? Absolutely not. Will it be without tragedy and heartache? Nope. Will it be without pain, persecution, sin or suffering? No. In fact because we trust in Christ we may very well experience these things to an even greater degree. Not because God hates us but because God loves us and the devil hates us because we are literally moving people from hell to heaven through the proclaiming of truth which is that this world and its pleasures are a lie, Jesus is the son of God and He still lives today waiting for all men to not perish but to repent and believe so that they too can be with him for eternity in heaven. The devil hates us because we are working hard to make hell less populated and because we refuse to give in to the sins and pleasures of this world. You and I have no hope of resisting the devil or the sins of this world if we are not fully in Christ.
When you are fully in Christ then you have some real power. The power to overcome. The power to resist the devil. The power to say no to sin. Before Christ the sin nature controlled you now the Holy Spirit controls you through Christ and in Christ. Once you were blind, now you see. Once you were lost now you are found. It’s a beautiful thing. That truth, that I am now in Christ. I am his child has brought me great contentment in life. What used to bother me doesn’t anymore. What used to get me angry doesn’t now. Where I used to whine and cry and feel sorry for myself now I have peace. In place of pride I have humility, envy is replaced with kindness, gluttony is replaced with abstinence, anger is replaced with patience, greed is replaced with liberality and generosity, laziness is replaced with diligence. The power of Christ in us brings all these attributes to us and the result of a growing relationship with Jesus will be peace, contentment, and joy.