15. Joy

Have you read Paul's letter to the Philippians? It is the most joyful book in the Bible! Paul uses the Greek words for joy and rejoicing sixteen times in only 104 verses. "Rejoice in the Lord always," he urges at one point. "I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4). What is interesting is that Paul wrote this "epistle of joy" from a dingy Roman prison, where you'd expect anything by joy! So how was Paul so joyful?

Paul's joy resulted from his faith in Christ, his confidence in God's sovereignty, and his sense of purpose in serving the Lord and advancing the gospel. How can we be similarly joyful? Follow Paul's example.

One, cultivate a relationship with God. Every choice we have made (and will make) requires a strong relationship with Jesus. When we get to know Jesus well, he will give us a deeper, purer, and sweeter gladness than anything this world offers. That's why the Psalmist sang: "Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!" (Psalm 34:8). We also develop confidence in Jesus. Consequently, worry and anxiety fade away, making a place for joy.

Two, focus on gratitude: When we intentionally focus on the blessings in our lives and cultivate a spirit of gratitude, we can experience greater joy. We can practice gratitude by keeping a gratitude journal, expressing thanks to God and others, or simply reflecting on the good things in our lives. If you think you don't have much to be grateful for, think again! The mere fact we are saved is reason to be profoundly grateful! This was one of the main reasons Paul was joyful! He knew that no matter what happened to him on earth, his future was secure in heaven!

Three, find meaning and purpose in life! How do we determine our purpose for living? Since God created us, he would obviously have some answers for us. One purpose is to serve him, best accomplished by serving others. We can find tremendous joy in this, whether by volunteering time and resources to help God's people in need or by spreading the gospel message. See how much I love doing what I do and how joyful it makes me!

A few years ago, I read Rick Warren's "The Purpose Driven Life." The book is divided into 40 short chapters, each focusing on a different aspect of finding one's purpose. It is based on Biblical principles, and the chapters cover topics such as understanding one's identity in Christ, developing a relationship with God, using one's gifts and talents to serve others, and finding meaning and purpose in life. It's a must-read for the believer, so pick up a copy if you don't already have one.

So, let's choose to be a joyful people today! Remember: "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4)

More in this category: « 14. To Surrender 16. Faith »
Click here for the extended "LIVE" versions: 1. Abundant Life
2. Perseverance
3. Humility
4. Rest
5. To Abide
6. To Wait
7. To Look Ahead
8. Light
9. Grace
10. Contentment
11. Love
12. Repentance
13. To Forgive
14. To Surrender
15. Joy
16. Faith
17. Discipline
18. Hope
19. Freedom
20. Gratitude
21. To Listen
22. Truth
23. Peace
24. Encouragement
25. To Imitate Christ
26. Friendship
27. Unity
28. To Remember
29. Conversion
30. Generosity
31. Revival
32. Integrity
33. Excellence
34. To Serve
35. Tongue Control
36. Courage
37. Wisdom
38. Purity
39. Stewardship
40. To Evangelize
Choice 01 — I Choose Abundant Life
Choice 01 — I Choose Abundant Life
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose the *Abundant Life*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an *expanded 30-minute live version* of this reflection, please visit https://bit.ly/ichooseabundantlife
Transcript
Jesus said: “The thief comes only to steal Read More
Choice 02: I Choose Perseverance
Choice 02: I Choose Perseverance
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *Perseverance*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an *expanded 30-minute live version* of this reflection, please visit : https://bit.ly/ichooseperseverance
Transcript
One day Jesus told his disciples a parable to show Read More
Choice 03: I Choose Humility
Choice 03: I Choose Humility
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *Humility*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an expanded 30-minute live version of this reflection, please visit: https://bit.ly/ichoosehumility
Transcript
One day when Jesus was dining with a group of Read More
Choice 04: I Choose Rest
Choice 04: I Choose Rest
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *To Rest*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an expanded 30-minute live version of this reflection, please visit: https://bit.ly/ichooserest
Transcript
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary Read More
Choice 05: I Choose to Abide
Choice 05: I Choose to Abide
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *To Abide*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an expanded 30-minute live version of this reflection, please visit: https://bit.ly/ichoosetoabide
Transcript
One of the loveliest pictures Jesus painted is the one Read More
Choice 06: I Choose to Wait
Choice 06: I Choose to Wait
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose to *Wait*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an expanded 30-minute live version of this reflection, please visit: https://bit.ly/ichoosetowait
Transcript
One of my favorite passages of Scripture — I have Read More
Choice 07: I Choose to Look Ahead
Choice 07: I Choose to Look Ahead
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose to *Look Ahead*. Please share the video and bless others. 
To watch an *expanded 30-minute live version* of this reflection, please visit https://bit.ly/ichoosetolookahead.
Transcript
Disappointments are a part of life. So is failure. So, also Read More
Choice 08: I Choose Light
Choice 08: I Choose Light
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *Light*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an *expanded 30-minute live version* of this reflection, please visit https://bit.ly/ichooselight.
Transcript
Have you ever had to navigate a room in the darkness? Read More
Choice 09: I Choose Grace
Choice 09: I Choose Grace
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *Grace*. Please share the video and bless others. 
To watch an *expanded 30-minute version* of this reflection, please https://bit.ly/ichoosegrace.
Transcript
John Bradford was an English Reformer who lived in the 16th century. One day Read More
Choice 10: I Choose Contentment
Choice 10: I Choose Contentment
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *Contentment*. Please share the video and bless others. 
To watch an *expanded 30-minute version* of this reflection, please visit https://bit.ly/ichoosecontentment.
Transcript
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul wrote: "I know what it is Read More

Load More