Joyfulness in every circumstance

 

Being joyful may be seen by some as being happy only within positive circumstances. Joyfulness in the Bible, on the other hand, is seen as a state of rest or peace that results from a deep trust in Jesus that prevails through varied circumstances, even negative ones.

We highlight two Bible verses which show this understanding of joy: Hebrews 12:2 stated: “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Likewise, James 1:2-3 note: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”

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God’s Strength and Provision

 

Paul’s letter to the Philippians is about living the Christian life. In Chapter 4:10-20 specifically, Paul speaks of God’s provision. He thanks the Philippians for their concern, but expresses that it was not needed. Paul has everything he needs when he has Christ. He is content no matter his situation, through Christ who strengthens him.

 

Do not take the verse out of context. Paul is not saying that God will empower all believers to accomplish anything they desire. God’s strength enables us to endure hardship and persecution, as Paul himself was experiencing at the time. Trust in the Lord’s timing and provision in everything we go through, so we can be content and not be consumed by greed and materialism.

 

That is Paul’s secret to contentment and the key takeaway from this part of his letter. Trust God, so much so that you can say: “Through Him, I can endure all difficulties no matter how seemingly insurmountable they may seem.”

Love One Another

 

In this letter, Peter writes to 5 regions in the Roman empire, and he addresses his audience as exiles who have been dispersed. 1 Peter 1:1 “To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.”

 

It can be surmised that he is writing to groups of Christians facing persecution and or trials. Peter goes on to remind them of the truth of who they are: children of God who have been born again through Christ’s resurrection from the dead. As such they should rejoice, for whatever trials they are currently facing, God has kept an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, in heaven for them.

 

Therefore, his audience is also reminded of their call to be holy and leave their ignorant ways behind, 1 Peter 1:14-15 “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.”

 

Part of this call to obedience is to love wholeheartedly, sacrificially and selflessly.

Christian Freedom

 

After Jesus’ death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, many still held fast to the Old Testament laws. In Galatians chapter 5, Paul is telling his listeners that there is no longer a need to be justified by the law since Jesus’ death is sufficient for our salvation.

This great news, however, does come with new instructions.

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Am I Willing To Be a Servant?

 

Philippians 2:14-15 (ESV) “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world”

Be it chores, homework, or other responsibilities, it can be incredibly difficult to do the things we are told to do. Yet here, Paul says to not just do these things, but to also do so without complaining or arguing.

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