Don’t you just love it when a friend calls or writes just to spread a little joy and gratitude over your life!
Paul’s letter to the Philippians is often called the “Joy Letter.”
It’s one of the reasons, Philippians is one of my favorite books in the Bible . . . joy is the theme of every single chapter.
So, you’d think Paul must have been living a life of ease and happiness, or what might be called “the good life,” when it was written.
But no! Not so much!
Paul wrote this letter while he was being held in a Roman prison.
The Holy Spirit, through Paul, wants us to KNOW an important truth.
Joy is NOT based on our circumstances.
Joy is not the same as happiness.
Happiness is based on our circumstances: health, wealth, possessions, control, perfect relationships, etc. Imagine blissful images on social media. The problem is that those things can change in a moment and disappear in the blink of an eye.
But joy that lasts…
Joy is deep and strong. Joy is rooted in our relationship with Jesus. It is based on the “quiet, confident assurance of God’s love at work in our lives.” (LAB Notes) Joy lasts!
I will continue to rejoice. For I know that as you pray for me and the spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance.Philippians 1:18b–19
How can he be so confident?
Well, earlier in the letter, he wrote:
I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.Philippians 1:6
God is faithful to help us grow in His grace. He never gives up on us. We are securely anchored in our relationship with the Lord and through His Spirit, we have everything we need to live with joy that lasts even when our circumstances aren’t the perfect pictures we want them to be.
A Prayer to Live with Joy that Lasts
Father, thank you so much for wanting me to have joy. Thank you for Jesus, the One who makes joy possible.
Please forgive me. It is so easy for me to get so focused on my circumstances and distracted by things that unsettle and upset me. I can let a moment of unhappiness rob me of my joy when I take my eyes off You.
I come to You and ask You to give me a heart that desires to SEEK You above everything else in my life. Please help me know the true joy that lasts. Help me remember there is joy when I take refuge in You. (Psalm 2:12) May I rest in Your love and find joy in Your presence. (Psalm 16:11) May I faithfully celebrate with joy the victory You have won for me. (Psalm 21:1) May I rejoice in the gift of forgiveness. (Psalm 32:1) May I daily find joy in obeying Your will. (Psalm 40:8)
You are so good and gracious to me. Your mercy surrounds me. Your love overwhelms me. You are my reason for joy . . . for joy that lasts. I thank and praise You. And I look forward to thanking and praising You today, tomorrow, and forever and always. Amen.
Our joy is based on the empty tomb . . . on the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus.
By God’s grace, it is possible for us to be so connected to Jesus that we can experience contentment and peace no matter what happens in our lives. We can be confident that He will give us the strength we need whatever our circumstances.
And knowing that is why Luke 12:31 is one of my life verses:
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.
Seeking the Lord above all else gives me everything I need to live through whatever happens in my life . . . and that truth gives me joy that lasts.
And when you and I live with joy . . . we give Him glory.
I love this quote:
“We should be so joyful from God’s grace that others would respond by saying ‘I wish I had your God.’” – Francis Chan
So, on today’s note write:
Because of Jesus, I can experience a joy that lasts forever and ever and always.
May God bless you and give you everything you need to live with joy today and always.
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