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Summary: Philippians shows us how God wants His people to experience triumphant joy, rejoicing in the Lord always, even in the midst of suffering, trials and temptations.

TRIUMPHANT JOY #1: THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

INTRO TO TOPIC:

• Joy and happiness. So many people in the world today aren’t experiencing it!

• However, so many people in our world live for the pursuit of happiness.

• The question is: HOW do we experience happiness? Everyone has a different answer:

o Every talk show host, self-help book, and magazine cover has steps:

o “Seven steps to joy, five steps to happiness, three steps to your best life now!”

o Google: “How to find happiness?” About 186,000,000 results (0.44 seconds).

o Go to the bar, get drunk, meet other miserable people – that’ll make you happy.

o Every product commercial says, “Buy our junk and you’ll be happy.”

• So many people are sad, depressed and miserable and on medication just to get by!

• People think if they can just get the right person or the right thing, they’ll be happy.

• True lasting joy and happiness isn’t something you can find in the world.

• We’re going to begin a new series today in the Book of Philippians – the theme is JOY.

BACKGROUND OF THE LETTER OF PHILIPPIANS:

Author: Paul

Date: 61 AD

Theme: Joy in Christ

Occasion: Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians during his first Roman imprisonment.

Content: The abiding message of Philippians concerns the nature and grounds of Christian joy. For Paul, true joy is not a surface emotion that depends on favorable circumstances of the moment. Joy is independent of outward conditions, and is possible even in the midst of adverse circumstances, such as suffering and persecution.

Application: This letter reveals the timeless message that true joy is to be found only in a dynamic personal relationship with Jesus Christ and in assurance that God is able to turn adverse circumstances to our good and His glory. (The Spirit-filled Life Study Bible).

THE BIG IDEA: Philippians shows us how God wants His people to experience triumphant joy, rejoicing in the Lord always, even in the midst of suffering, trials and temptations.

THE LETTER TO THE PHILIPPIAN CHURCH:

“1 This letter is from Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus. It is written to all of God's people in Philippi, who believe in Christ Jesus, and to the elders and deacons. 2 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. 3 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. 4 I always pray for you, and I make my requests with a heart full of joy

• Here in the first few verses we are already introduced to the theme of joy.

5 because you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. 6 And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.

• Paul is thankful for those who are his partners in the ministry – as am I. Thankful for:

• Children’s ministry, youth, worship, sound, prayer, ushering & greeting, elders, council.

• Paul celebrates a wonderful promise from a faithful God – God will finish what He starts!

• Don’t ever think that you could sin so great that God would stop loving you!

7 It is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a very special place in my heart. We have shared together the blessings of God, both when I was in prison and when I was out, defending the truth and telling others the Good News. 8 God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 1:1-8, NLT).

• Paul was a true man of God with a great love for God’s people in the church.

• Let’s take a look now at the story of the founding of the Philippian church.

THE FOUNDING OF THE CHURCH IN PHILIPPI: (Acts 16:11-34, NKJV).

1. LYDIA AND HER FAMILY:

11 Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace…

• The beginning of Luke’s use of “we” in this passage tells us he was with Paul here.

and the next day came to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were staying in that city for some days. 13 And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. 14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay." So she persuaded us.

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