Philippians 1:18-19 – I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out…
In our study of Philippians, we have established that the main theme is joy as words such as joy and rejoice appear some 19 times in the 104 verses of the little book. The first time I preached through Philippians verse-by-verse was around a dozen years ago. In hindsight, I believe I could have done a better job teaching the book, which is why I am very excited to be preaching it this holiday season for the wonderful folks in our church family.
The first time I taught the book, I had more information about joy than an impartation of joy. What I lacked was a fullness in the Spirit who alone can bring enduring, deep, profound, and unshakeable joy. This was the experience of Jesus who, “rejoiced in the Holy Spirit” (Luke 10:21) and can be the experience of Christians as “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy…” (Galatians 5:22).
How is your joy this holiday season? Looking back, I believe there were three mindsets that seek to steal our happiness:
- Past – We have regrets about what we have done in our past or hold onto grudges against those who hurt us in the past, which kills joy in the present.
- Present – We believe the lie that if the person or circumstance causing us pains and problems were under control then we’d be happy, as we never see life come together perfectly until the Kingdom.
- Future – As we frantically chase a hope or dream, we wrongly believe the myth that, “I will be happy when __________.” When we graduate, get a job, get married, buy a house, have kids, pay off our credit cards, etc. may never happen, and if it does, we are still unhappy.
These three mindsets kill your joy because joy comes from the Lord by the Spirit. Without His joy, you cannot fully enjoy anything from your past, present, or future.
Which of these three mindsets is the toughest trap for you to avoid?