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By William Campbell
Elder Mission Bible Fellowship 

Maintaining Your Christian Joy

 

August 24, 2017



How’s your JQ (Joy Quotient). Jesus prayed for his Disciples “...that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” Paul prayed, “...that I might finish my course. With joy.” In Galatians 5:22, Paul lists joy as one of the gifts of the Spirit. So clearly God wants us to share in His joy.

Yet Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, spells out four things that can rob us of our joy. They are: 1) Circumstances, 2) People, 3) Things and 4) Worry. Who among us has not allowed one or more of these to rob us of our joy? Yet Paul does not leave us in suspense. He offers a solution, in each case for how to prevent these four things from robbing us of God’s intended joy for us.

In chapter one, Paul addresses the issue of “circumstances.” Here we should remind ourselves that Paul indeed knows from whence he speaks. He was in fact in a Roman prison when he wrote this letter.

Paul says the answer in this first case is to have the SINGLE MIND OF CHRIST. A complete and utter focus on Christ. Philippians 4:11 “...for I have learned to be content in every circumstance. Everywhere and in every circumstance I have learned whether well fed or hungry, in want or in plenty, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

In chapter two Paul addresses another major “joy robber” - “people”. Who among us has not allowed a relative, a fellow worker, a neighbor or even a friend to get under our skin at some point?

Here the solution offered by Paul is to have the SERVANT MIND OF CHRIST. He spells out what that looks like in Philippians 2:2-4 “...fulfill my joy by being like minded, having the same mind, being of one accord. Do nothing out of vain conceit or selfish ambition but in humility consider others as better than yourself. Look not only to your own interests but to the interests of others.” The key here is to be humble.

Chapter three speaks of how things (material things) can rob us of our joy. And once again it comes down to focus.

Here Paul suggests the answer lies in maintaining the SPIRITUAL MIND OF CHRIST. He would have us look not to things of this earth, or as he says in chapter 3 verse 19, do not be like those who “...set their mind on earthly things.” But rather he suggests we “set our minds on things above.”

Paul uses these words in bringing his letter to a close in the final chapter, “ Finally , brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things.”

Chapter four attacks one of he greatest joy robbers, worry. And here Paul suggests we adapt the SECURE MIND OF CHRIST.

Since, over the years worry has been a major joy robber in my life, I have adapted Philippians 4:6,7 as one of my favorite verses. A verse I have committed to memory and a promise I pray into my life whenever I am tempted to worry. It says simply, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

These verses, when applied can raise your JQ. They have mine. Joy is a gift. Don’t let anyone or anything rob you of that joy.

 

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