The Secret of Christian Joy
There is something better than pursuing happiness. And there is something that is, in effect, even better than happiness. That something is called joy.
Joy is the theme of the book of Philippians. Now, if Paul had written this epistle while he was sitting on a Mediterranean beach, catching some rays, and sipping an iced tea, that would be one thing. But that wasn’t the case. Paul was incarcerated in Rome when he wrote this letter to the believers in Philippi. Even though he was writing from a place of difficulty, Paul wrote a letter that resonated with joy.
So how could Paul be so joyful and jubilant under such adverse circumstances? And is this joy something that we can experience in the twenty-first century?
The answer is yes. In fact, we should experience it for ourselves. This joy wasn’t unique to Paul; it is available to any follower of Jesus Christ. In addition to the word joy, there is another word that we find used frequently in Philippians, and it is the word mind. In fact, the word mind is used ten times, and the word think is used five times. Add to these the time Paul used the word remember, and we have sixteen references to the mind in Philippians.
I am not advocating positive thinking, possibility thinking, or mere optimism. The Bible is not some self-help book that merely will put a little more spring in our step and make us a little happier. Paul was thinking biblically. And in Philippians, he tells us about his mind, his attitude, and his outlook.
Like Paul, we need to think along scriptural lines. The secret of Christian joy is not found in a problem-free world, because that world doesn’t exist. Rather, it is found in the way we think.
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