Where Do We Find True Joy?
"What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice." Philippians 1:18
This weekend I attended a women’s event in which the teacher taught on the subject of joy. Many of us look at joy and associate it with an emotion, but the definition of joy is so much more than that. Many of us can define joy by what we think it is: an emotion that is produced causing happiness, cheerfulness, and an overall sense of well-being. If this were the case, the apostle Paul would be highly disillusioned. We can many times look at what joy is, but to find out what joy truly, we first have to look at what joy isn’t.
Joy is never based on circumstance. We see in the entire book of Philippians that Paul wasn’t in the most favorable of circumstances. He was imprisoned and was hearing some not so favorable things about his precious church in Philippi. Paul, however, looked not at the circumstance but past that. He knew though his present circumstance was not favorable, his ultimate circumstance, his goal, and his promise through Christ was inevitable.
Knowing this, he was able to rejoice and have an attitude that his situation, though dire, was not permanent. Because we have Christ we can have joy in our lives. Because Christ died on the cross for us, we know whatever circumstance that may be surrounding us is fleeting. Our joy is knowing our Creator. The more we get to know God, the more we get to know His attributes. The more we begin to fall in love with Him, the more we can have the blessed assurance that God is our source and our strength. We begin to trust God’s sovereignty, and through this we know He never leaves us or forsakes us. Knowing God, trusting God, and loving God is true joy.
God, thank You for being my constant source of joy in each and every circumstance. I thank You that though things may or may not be favorable in my life, You are constant. You are my hope and strength. I love you, Father. Amen.
Read the book of Philippians this week. How does Paul’s perspective on life help you with yours?
Chelsi Woods is the coffee-loving Content Manager for Whole Magazine and a writer for the Reformed Outlook. She is a Jesus-loving, tattooed soccer mom to a beautiful, blue-eyed 12-year-old girl and “Choo-Choo” to a 9-year-old nephew and 4-year-old niece. Her hobbies include communicating in gifs, playing guitar, and bad dad jokes. Chelsi’s passionate pursuit is to teach women solid, Biblical truths focused on spiritual growth, loving God with our minds, all while glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.