Friday, May 1, 2020

Let’s Choose Joy!

Friday, May 1, 2020  By Brad Martin
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord.  Philippians 3:1 ESV

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Philippians 4:4 ESV

Let’s Choose Joy!

I have always loved the book of Philippians. For me it is one of the most joyful books in the Bible. The apostle Paul uses the Greek word for joy and rejoicing sixteen times in 104 verses. And in this midst of those verses, Paul writes them from a dirty Roman prison that is typically associated with difficulty and trials. Most people would not associate a prison as a joyful situation. Paul is surrounded by every possible obstacle to joy, so why is he so joyful? 

In Philippians 3:1 & 4:4, Paul commands us to rejoice in the Lord. Rejoice in the Lord Jesus Christ! To rejoice in the Lord means to know the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. This means Jesus gives us an ever-lasting joy that sustains more than anything this world has to offer. To rejoice in the Lord means He has put a new song in our hearts that will drown out all of the difficulties of life.

In my previous devotion, we saw how Paul and Silas were torn of all their clothes, beaten, and thrown in a prison. After all they went through, they prayed, and sang heart-felt praise to God!

I’ve said this before; we’re either coming into difficult times, in difficult times, or coming out of difficult times. The truth is we will all face difficult times in this fallen world. Those difficult times will look different for each of us on the outside, but we will all face difficult times that will try to steal, kill, and destroy us of our joy.

Joy is “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.” It’s what we feel when life is not in a quarantine — when the sun is shining, when we can go to church, we can buy as much toilet paper as we want. Most people do not typically speak of the happiness of difficulty and trials. 

The word rejoice in our text above should not be understood as an earthly happiness. To rejoice is a spiritual joy that comes out of our faith in Jesus Christ and a joy that can endure all the earthly circumstances. Paul did not enjoy joyful living conditions when he wrote, rejoice in the Lord.” However, Paul’s joy is not anchored in his circumstances but in the Lord because of his living hope and faith in Jesus Christ!

God loves you and He desires for us to obey Him and worship Him no matter what we’re facing here on earth. When we know Him and trust Him, He will enable us to rejoice when our earthly lives become challenging. My prayer is that we, by faith, can hold on to the JOY that is only found in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Press On,
Brad Martin - Worship Pastor
North Side Baptist Church

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