Consider the question carefully. Do you need joy?
Can you say without hypocrisy that you would be 100% content and joyful if you were stuck in a prison cell tomorrow? Are you honestly 100% content and joyful in the life you have now? Can you say that you have truly learned how to be content in any and every situation? Is anxiety and stress no longer an issue in your life? Has the things of this world—learning, material possessions, achievements, success, popularity—all become less than garbage to you in comparison to knowing Christ?
I don’t think anyone walking on planet earth can honestly answer “yes” to these probing questions. We all struggle with these issues in some way. It’s hard to not let circumstances influence our outlook. It’s a challenge to keep the difficult things of life from weighing us down and making us anxious. It’s a constant battle to not let the world and all of its allures become more important in our mind and heart than they really are.
But joy is a choice. A daily battle to not allow the good and bad circumstances of life influence and dampen the hope that we have in Christ. It’s a decision to focus our mind and heart so completely on Christ that the cares, concerns, and allures of this world become so trivial and small that they hold no bearing to who we are and what we have in Christ.
Joy is an important characteristic of a Christian. It’s the second fruit of the Spirit following closely after love. We desperately need it, for with joy, life becomes an adventure with God, but without it, life’s a nightmare. But beware, joy is not the same as happiness. Happiness is as fleeting as the seasons; it’s here today but gone tomorrow. However, joy endures. It endures hardship, trials, persecution, as well as blessing and prosperity. Joy is constant and not dependent upon circumstances to keep it going.
So now the question of the day: how do we get joy? We know its importance and benefit, but how can we obtain it?
There’s no simple, short answer. In fact, Paul wrote an entire epistle centered on this topic. The book of Philippians contains over ten mentions of joy and rejoice in its short four chapters and 104 verses. So as we wrestle with the question of joy and how to obtain it, let’s go find our answers in this treasure-packed book.
Our next So I Fix My Eyes Bible study will be through the Epistle of Philippians. We’ll discover how Paul was able to write declarations like “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain,” “I count everything as loss compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus,” and “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.”
These phrases have inspired generations of believers and spurred on and motivated countless Christians into deeper places with the Lord. Therefore, join me in methodically and devotionally discovering the book of Philippians and all that the Lord has to show us in this gem of a book.
Note: If you’re already subscribed to the “Bible Study” email list you’ll keep getting the emails for the new study. But if you’re new to So I Fix My Eyes and would like to receive email updates as we go through Philippians, you can do so by subscribing to our email list and choosing the option “Bible Study.”
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