#FAITH: Finding Joy (in JESUS!!)

September 10, 2019

“…for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”  (Philippians 4:11-13)

In this epistle of joy, the epistle to the Philippians, the Apostle Paul exhorts us, “Delight in Jesus. Learn to derive your joy from knowing Him.” Paul uses the word ‘joy’ again and again. What he’s really saying to us in the conditions in which he’s living is simply this:

“Learn to derive your joy from your relationship to Jesus Christ. Learn to delight in Him.”

What is the source of your happiness? In what do you delight? If you delight in your health, well, you’re on thin ice. What would you do if you lost your health? If you delight in money, what would you do if you lost everything? If you delight in your loved ones, and many, many people do, what are you going to do when you lose them?

It’s because God loves us that God tells us things like this, “Delight in Me. Learn to derive your joy from knowing Me.” That’s the source of joy. And so that should be our delight.

That’s the reason Paul could have peace, even in the dungeon, even when he was in prison, no matter what the circumstances were, the reason he could say, “I’m ready for anything. I have learned how to live when everything is good, and I have learned how to live when everything is bad.”  Here is one of the big keys: Paul’s delight was the Lord, and the Lord was the Source of his happiness.

Not what he had or didn’t have.

Dick Woodward, (Ben Lippen Retreat, 1979)


Great Joy for All People

December 20, 2013

“I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all people!” (Luke 2:10)

A great man named Tim Hansel lived every day with excruciating pain.  He wrote in his book, You Gotta Keep Dancing, that pain and suffering are inevitable but misery is optional.  That is true for a Spirit controlled disciple of Jesus.  Tim also wrote “I can choose to be joyful.”

Joy is one of the nine fruits of the Spirit the Apostle Paul wrote about in his letter to the Galatians (5: 22, 23).  As evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives joy could be paraphrased “happiness that does not make good sense.” The derivation of the word “happiness” has to do with what happens to us.  But this joy, which is the fruit of the Spirit living in us, is not controlled by what happens to us.  That is why we say it does not make good sense, especially to secular non-spiritual people.  In the very short letter the Apostle Paul wrote from prison to his favorite church, the Philippians, he used the word joy 17 times!

While appearing to the shepherds the angels explained why their declaration would bring great joy to all people: “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

Great joy came because the One born is the Savior.  He is the Christ, which is the Greek way of saying the Messiah.  And He is to be our Lord. Joy came because He gives the Holy Spirit to those who follow Him. This joy is intended for all people, including you.

Are you choosing to be joyful, anyway?