Let's be Joyfull

Philippians 4:4-7 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

 

Are you joyful today? Are you really enjoying life? Do you know what makes you happy? It may be different than what you think. We may think we need certain “things” to have joy, or that it depends on others, or that it is something we can only hope for in the future. But what if we needed virtually nothing tangible to be joyful and we could choose it now? Paul writes continuously in his letters about the joy and peace of living in Christ. What could possibly be more reason for joy than Romans 8:11?

 

“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you."

 

And in Phillipians 1:21 Paul writes:

 

“For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

 

If you try to put anything else in that sentence it falls flat.

 

“For me to live is money, success, progress, family, marriage, fame, power, influence, possessions, and to die is to leave it all behind, be forgotten, and depart with nothing in my hands."

 

Here is some advice for happiness and fulfillment handed down through the ages:

 

Greece said “Be wise, know yourself.”
Rome said, “Be strong, discipline yourself.”
Religion says, “Be good, conform yourself.”
Epicureanism says, “Be resourceful, expand yourself.”
Psychology says, “Be confident, assert yourself.”
Materialism says, “Be possessive, please yourself.”
Humanism says, “Be capable, believe in yourself.”
Pride says, “Be superior, promote yourself.”
Christ says, “Be unselfish, humble yourself.”

 

In today's world the concept of having an unselfish servant attitude as a means to a joyful life sounds like a joke. But Jesus came and turned upside down so many of the worldly views.

 

Matthew 16:25 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

 

Paul gives an excellent recipe for joy and happiness in Philippians 2:1-4

 

“Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”