Summary: What is "Triumphant Joy" ?
INTRO: 1. The church at Philippi is apparently among Paul’s favorite churches.
a. Paul’s ministry there started with a supernatural vision and saw God miraculously move in that area.
b. Even after Paul had left them they supported him financially in his missionary tours.
c. Generous in their offering for the church in Jerusalem going through famine.
d. Not without it’s difficulties, remember it was at Phillipi that Paul and Silas was beaten and shackled in a prison cell until God brought a miraculous earthquake to deliver them.
2. This letter was different from the others in many ways.
a. It was more relaxed (tell Paul was comfortable with them)
b. It was more open (not afraid to be transparent in their midst)
c. It was spontaneous (probably the first draft)
d. Not motivated by problems in the church… although a few are dealt with here.
3. I believe that this church became special to Paul because of one very distinguishing characteristic… Joy.
a. They were clearly a Joy to be around, to even think about. Vs. 4
b. Their Joy was a a supernatural Joy… a gift of grace from God.
c. Their joy didn’t fade in times of trouble but abounded…intervened for others.
4. Paul understood that that which marked this church and made it such a blessing was the area that Satan was most likely to target.
a. The devil hates Joy… indicator of your strength and of your maturity in Christ.
b. They, like every church, are in danger of losing that Joy.
c. Paul said this is the reason he wanted to see them again. Vs. 25-26
5. This letter would become known as the ‘letter of Joy.’
a. “Joy” or “rejoice” is found no less than 18 times in a book only 4 chapters long.
b. Not about some emotional feeling…happiness.
c. Not about external circumstance… Paul penned from a Roman prison.
d. About the Joy that Christ gives and Holy Spirit manifests.
e. About a Joy that isn’t fickle or weak but triumphant… at it’s best when things are at it’s worst.
6. In our study we will see how Paul outlines for us this ‘Triumphant Joy’ that is available for us all.
a. Tonight, we will look at ‘Triumphant Joy Defined’ as Paul lays out the meaning of this kind of Joy.
I. TRIUMPHANT JOY IS A STANCE Vs. 13-18
a. Paul demonstrates for us here that you can’t keep this kind of Joy down.
b. While others would bemoan their circumstance, Paul praised God for using his prison experience to further the gospel… encouraging others to take up the slack and preach that much more fervently.
c. But one of my favorite quotes from Paul is where he points out that there are many different preachers out there preaching some with the proper motive and some without… but it didn’t matter to him just as long as the gospel was being preached.
d. He could have complained about his circumstance, even about other preachers but he had determined to respond to everything the same ways. Vs. 18
e. Paul had taken a stance of rejoicing.
A. A DECISION TO REJOICE
1. He said “I therein do rejoice”
2. Paul said I don’t have to wait until it’s over… I choose to rejoice “therein.”
3. Rejoicing must be a decision, God’s not going to force it on you.
4. Everything you face demands a response from you… how you respond is up to you.
5. Not a decision out of will-power, but a decision out of grace.
6. A gift of grace is what you need when you need it.
B. A DETERMINATION TO REJOICE
1. Paul backed it up with the phrase “yea, and will rejoice.”
2. His stance wasn’t just for today but for tomorrow as well.
3. Paul was saying whatever I go through I “will rejoice.”
4. Paul was facing a long prison term, torture, even death, but He had made a decision and he had determination.
C. A DIRECTION TO REJOICE
Phil. 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
1. It wasn’t some empty hope… or some silly giggling spirit… it was in the Lord.
2. Again Paul emphasis a determination to rejoice “alway.”
3. Paul was saying, I may be imprisoned, but they can’t keep God out.
4. Paul said I may be behind a locked door… but we’ve been made to “sit together in heavenly places.”
5. Paul pointed out in vs. 13 that even the Palace guards know that God sent him there.
6. Rejoice that no matter where we are we can be a testimony that are not soon forgotten.
ILL. Mother Teresa said, “A person filled with joy preaches without preaching.”
II. TRIUMPHANT JOY IS AN ELEMENT OF CHANGE Vs. 18, 19