“Delight yourselves in the Lord; yes, find your joy in him at all times.” (Philippians 4:4)
“While pain and suffering are inevitable, misery is optional.” Those were the words of a man who lives every day with excruciating pain. How could misery be optional for someone in agonizing pain? And how do we explain Paul mentioning joy seventeen times in a short letter he wrote from prison to his favorite church?
Paul explains that for those who are experiencing a relationship with the risen, living Christ there is a peace and joy that is not controlled by circumstances. The peace and joy Paul experienced and prescribed could be called, “Peace that doesn’t make good sense” and “Happiness that doesn’t make good sense.” According to Paul, the foundation of that peace and joy is the Lord Himself. He therefore prescribed that we are to delight ourselves in the Lord and then find our peace and joy in Him at all times.
What is your foundation for serenity and joy? If your foundation is the relationship with a loved one, do you realize there is no relationship with people here in this life that cannot be removed? If that foundation is your health, your youth or your athleticism, many thousands of people, who had those foundations before age, an illness, or an injury destroyed them, will join me in warning you that they are very fragile foundations for the peace and happiness Paul is prescribing.
In the opening words of the seventeenth chapter of the Gospel of John we’re told that Jesus identified and declared the right foundation for us as knowing God and Jesus Christ Whom God sent into this world. Do you know them?