MONDAY, APRIL 20
“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.”
Philippians 4:4-5 (NLT2)
THE POWER OF JOY
A disgruntled early American once complained to Ben Franklin, “So where is all this happiness that the Constitution was supposed to guarantee me?” Franklin is said to have responded, “The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”
In Philippians 4 the Apostle Paul is challenging the church to catch the joy that is ours by right as Christians. Paul writes these verses as a challenge to a church that had two fighting members and he believed joy had the power to mend the conflict. Joy and rejoicing are the sub themes of the book of Philippians. Paul wrote this letter from prison. He had lost his liberty. He had lost his freedom to travel. He was carrying a lot of burdens, cares, and concerns of his own. Yet, he could still have joy and could encourage others to have joy in the midst of it all.
Joy is the deep-down sense of well-being that abides in the heart of the person who knows all is well between himself and the Lord. It is not an experience that comes from favorable circumstances and in fact can still be manifest when those circumstances are the most painful and severe. This is a deep confidence that is rooted in God’s sovereign control of the universe, His unchanging divine promises and eternal spiritual realities including the assurance of ultimate victory for those in Christ.
Paul believed joy had the power to mend the conflict that existed in the church. Joy has the power to mend some conflicts in any of our lives. Joy also has the power to get us through some of the most difficult days we will ever face. Have you pursued and found joy in your life? What do you think may be standing in the way of you and joy? Do you believe God has the power to give you joy? Ask Him for it.