This message is meant to be used as a 6-day devotion. Read the passages that go with each day. But also read the whole book of Philippians.
Paul wrote this book of Joy in prison waiting to be sentenced to death. That will help put his message to the church, us, into perspective.
Introduction – (Day 1)
Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, REJOICE!!
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Definition of joy and happiness:
- A nice name
- Generally the hottest chick in the bar, and somehow always manages to get out of trouble. Can be injury-prone, but is a great kisser.
- something that is perceived to be good or hot.
“oh my god, he is so joy!”
“that party is going to be so joy”
- “The outward expression of your love relationship with God.”
“He (Jesus) gives me joy that’s unspeakable, and I like it.”-Newsboys
- Happiness is like peeing in your pants. everyone can see it but only you can feel the warmth.
I am happy and everyone can see it but only I can feel the warmth-Yours Truly
- Happiness, the greatest gift that I possess.
Being happy doesn’t mean everything’s perfect; it just means you’ve decided to see beyond the imperfections.-Unknown
Philippians 1:3-6 – I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
What brings you joy in your everyday? Make the list, and then pray over it. Ask Heavenly Father to help through this devotion, to align the things that bring you joy to the things that brings joy to Him.
A road trip through the letter written to the Philippian church about joy
Listen to the Mannieshow – The Joy Devotion Part 1
Joy in suffering
Philippians 1:12-14 – Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.
Joy in suffering…
- demonstrates our loyalty to God (Psalm 44:9-26… Rise up and help us; rescue us because of your unfailing love)
- demonstrates God’s power through it (2 Corinthians 12:7-10… my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness)
Have you had to sacrifice something to help someone else? Can you demonstrate your loyalty to God in other ways?
Use this prayer time to thank Heavenly Father for demonstrating His power through your sacrifices and weaknesses.
Joy in serving
Philippians 2:5-11 – In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
- Do you live your life to serve; or do you live your life to be a servant?
- Jesus did not come to only to serve but to show us how to be a servant (John 13:15… I have set an example that you should do as I have done for you)
What are some areas in your life that you let get in the way of serving others? Be honest, when thinking of serving others, how does that make you feel?
Use this time of prayer to ask Jesus to give you a servant’s heart and to give you opportunities to use it. Who needs you in their life right now? Find ways to serve them into the arms of Jesus.
Joy in believing
Philippians 3:7-11 – But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
- To know Jesus is our ultimate goal – To know Jesus is to understand Him. We can know Him through His resurrection (Galatians 2:20). We can have the same attitude as Him by having compassion for others (Philippians 2:1-5)
- Everything we have done to profit our life is RUBBISH!
What does it mean to you, personally, to die to yourself and to live for Christ Jesus?
Use this time of prayer to ask Holy Spirit to show you the RUBBISH that needs to be thrown out, so the goods of heaven can come in.
Joy in giving
Philippians 4:14-19 – Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
- It is good to share in other’s troubles (needs) – Read what Paul’s said to his friends in Ephesus, he told them how he worked hard and shared in their troubles – Acts 20:32-35
- It is an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God – Romans 12:1
What kind of blessings is Jesus talking about when He says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”?
Read Luke 6:38 – Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Now that’s a prayer worth praying.
Based on these four joyous acts (suffering, serving, believing, giving), I have concluded… It is going to be tough to be happy in this life! And I am supposed to be happy because God tells me so?! And I am supposed to find joy in Him in all of these areas of my life?
Paul says in our weakness we are made strong…
In our suffering, in our being known as a servant, in our believing in someone that to the rest of the world says is rubbish and primitive, in our giving when our account says we probably shouldn’t.
Yes, we become weak, but when we allow God’s strength to overcome us and our situation, we become the most effective and begin doing work that has eternal and long-lasting value. Then a joy that can only be from a heavenly bank of happiness invests in us.
If you want to be happy, be– Leo Tolstoy
Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be– Abraham Lincoln
One filled with joy preaches without preaching– Mother Teresa
(make a list of non-christian things that make you happy)
By writing this list after going this teaching might sound a bit selfish or even meaningless. And well it kind of is 😀
Especially if you put that list to this one request… God’s favor
By living and being dependant on a heavenly joy, the promises that come with it come alive!
We are not just sacrificing by finding joy in all these circumstances, we are being obedient and living in favor of God!
Matthew 25:21 – Well done my good and faithful servant… Enter into the joy of your Master
That’s the joy I live my life for. And, well this type of joy definitely brings thankfulness!
In God’s joy, we are promised strength, peace, rest, and an end to all this worldly rubbish (2 Timothy 4:8). Our lives in this joy will attract others to Jesus (1 Timothy 4:10)
My final challenge?
Practice using these characteristics of Joy in your everyday life – Remember, it’s not about serving, it’s about having a servant heart, as a child of God, a citizen of heaven, an Ambassador of the kingdom of heaven, a co-labor with Jesus, and the list goes on!