I have been posting a number of excerpts from the Good Book Company’s new booklet Experiencing God: Finding true passion, joy, peace and rest in Christ. This fourth study focuses on Experiencing Joy and relates to Philippians 1 v 12-30 and 4 v 4-13.
The Big Idea
Valuing Christ leads to an experience of joy that transcends the circumstances of life.
Paul is in prison (1 v 13) and some Christians are stirring up trouble for him (v 17). But Paul still experiences joy because he message of Jesus is being preached. Paul values Jesus above all things – even life itself (v 21-23). So his joy transcends circumstances.
The goal of Paul’s ministry is that other people might experience this joy. This does not mean he wants people to have an easy life or that he avoids confrontation. He wants people to have joy in Christ – so much joy in Christ that they are willing to suffer for him.
Paul commands us to have joy. We can do this by remembering the all-surpassing value of Christ and all that He has done for us. “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ” (3 v 8).