Full of joy, always
Paul wrote, ‘Be full of joy in the Lord always. I will say again, be full of joy.’ Why did Paul repeat himself? Because joy is the fuel we run on, and unless we maintain it, we can run out. That means we need to regularly check our ‘fuel gauge’ to make sure we’re not being drawn into negativity and doubt.
Jesus is a joy giver, and when we stay connected to Him, we can experience His joy regardless of our circumstances. In John 15:11, He said, ‘I have told you these things so that you can have the same joy I have and so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy’ (NCV). When we really think about it, we have so many reasons for joy – God has forgiven our sins, He guides and protects us, He loves us more than we could imagine, we have a place in heaven…and so many more.
In prison, Paul had so much joy that his jailers were won to Christ and a church sprang up in Caesar’s household (see Philippians 4:22). People are always more influenced by our attitude than our theology. When they see us rejoicing in hard times, they’ll start to wonder what our secret is and think, ‘Whatever that person has, I need it’; they’ll become more open and receptive to the truth. The happiness the world offers us is only a reaction to our circumstances, whereas the joy that comes from living for Jesus lifts us above our circumstances. So let’s focus on His joy, draw on His joy, and demonstrate His joy to the world today.
Whenever you feel drawn into negativity today, try to remember Paul’s words in Philippians 4:4. Focus your mind on something that brings you joy, and don’t let negativity take a hold.
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