"Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say Rejoice."
As I reflect on Philippians four I can't help but be encouraged by Paul's words. Here is a man locked up in prison for simply sharing the good news about Jesus and yet, in the midst of this trial he remains passionate for Jesus with a spirit of joy. How can a man who has gone through so many trials continue to be joyful in spite of his circumstance? The answer is quite simple really. As he learned from the master himself (Jesus) our joy does not come from circumstance. Joy, real joy does not come as an emotion or from pleasure. Real joy, the joy in which only the Spirit can give, comes from a strong relationship with the author of joy, peace and stability. Paul understood that when his God relationship is good and an individual focuses in on the things that matter (Jesus) and less about the things that don't matter (circumstance), the result is undeniable joy.
This week has been a difficult one for me and has presented many challenges. I have been reminded again however that our circumstance should not dictate our attitude or our actions. Rather, as we focus on the things of God and of the Kingdom of Heaven, there are victories in our circumstance. Paul understood that the Holy Spirit is the power house that creates joy, He is the one that can bring real joy, heavenly joy, the joy that Jesus knew.
Paul said: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally,
brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is
right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if
anything is excellent or or praiseworthy—think about such things." (Phil 4:6-8)
God knows and understands the antidote for stress, anxiety and those things that cause a lack of joy. That is why we are reminded by Paul to pray, praise and focus on the things of God. Dwell on the good things and reject the things that are not of God.
This world is not as it was originally created. God calls us to find those things that are good and to meditate on those things. If you are lacking joy in your life I want to encourage you to focus in on God. Prayer, worship and delving into the word of God are just three simple and God ordained ways to increase your joy. If you want more joy and peace in your life then you quite simply seek out more of God. I dare you, give it a crack today and see and know that the Lord is good.
"Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice."
Don't let the devil steal your joy this week.