Searching for Joy
Alex Enabnit – Research Editor
This weekend we started a new series as part of our Short Stories theme teaching through the Book of Philippians.
This epistle was written by Paul while he was imprisoned in Rome. It is basically a “thank you” letter to the church he started in Philippi for the financial gift they gave him, but it is so much more than that. Paul used the opportunity to enlighten and teach his audience, but above all the letter has an abundant sense of joy – despite the fact that Paul wrote it from prison! Paul had this ability, no matter his situation, to maintain such a great attitude; he was always joyful despite the circumstance. This is because he could keep everything in perspective. Life wasn’t about him, it was about Christ.
Cal extracted three points out Philippians 1:12-21 that we can apply today:
- Chains cannot confine joy
- False motives cannot minimize joy
- Death cannot derail joy
Paul was so joyful that he couldn’t decide whether life or death was better for him! Since he was on trial, death was a real possibility at this point, but he was so excited at the thought of being with Jesus that it just didn’t worry him. And on the other hand, if he were to live, he would continue to live every moment for Jesus as well. The point is, Paul’s circumstances didn’t affect his joy, Jesus did. And this same joy is available to us too! We just have to choose it.
We can either chase happiness or choose joy. We can either run after something temporary, or decide to tap into the joy that is available to every follower of Jesus. What will you choose?
Verses and quotes from the sermon:
Philippians 1:12-21 ; Acts 1:8; Galatians 2:20; Romans 10:17; Luke 9:23-26; Acts 7:54-57
“I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.” Jim Carrey
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than success, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, gift, or skill. It will make or break a company…a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… The only thing we can do is play on the string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.” –Charles Swindoll
Here for You – Matt Redman
Eyes on Heaven – Central Music