While writing the book of Philippians from prison, Paul has a Holy Spirit impartation of joy that he wants all Christians to share. In just 104 verses, he speaks of joy repeatedly:
- 1:4 – my prayer with joy
- 1:18 – Christ is proclaimed…in that I rejoice.
- 1:25 – joy in the faith
- 2:2 – complete my joy by being of the same mind…the same love
- 2:17-18 – I am glad and rejoice with you all…be glad and rejoice with me
- 2:28-29 – rejoice at seeing him again…receive him in the Lord with all joy
- 3:1 – Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord.
- 4:1 – brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm
- 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
- 4:10 – I rejoiced in the Lord greatly
Here are 7 reasons for Christians to be cheerful:
- God is happy. The Trinity is a loving, joy-filled relational community that has never sinned and, as a result, is a cheerful community.
- God made us for happiness which is why everyone is searching for it. Since God is happy, godly people should be happy people. God made our first parents and put them in Eden, which means delight. Jesus said our “joy” should be “full”.
- The pursuit of happiness can lead to God. A man who became a Christian very recently at our church said that he had spent decades addicted to drugs and alcohol because he “tried to feel good”. But it never worked until he met Jesus and said “He’s awesome and now I feel happy”.
- The message of Christianity is “good news” to share with others. To state the obvious, good news is cheerful, joyful, happy, and not like all the horrifying, awful news we get every day from our cheerless planet.
- God’s Kingdom is a happy one. There won’t be any tears or mourning, we are told. The sun will always shine, everyone will be healed, the tacos will be perfect tacos, and everyone will be nice and there won’t be any jerks hanging out with Jesus. No one in Heaven will be bummed and wishing they could go back to their old life. Here are your two options:
Option #1 – God & happiness forever
Option #2 – No God & no happiness forever
Simply, God and happiness go together forever, and you cannot have one without the other.
- A cheerless Christian is a bad advertisement for the good news of Jesus Christ. If you are a cheerless, joyless Christian who has accepted Spock, Puddleglum, or Eeyore in your heart, you send a confusing message about good news of great joy for all the people if your face looks like you have gas while you talk about Jesus.
- God has joy big enough for you to enjoy your life. Life is big, but God is bigger. God’s joy is bigger than your life, and big enough for you to enjoy your life. One preacher has said that life is like a can of peaches and that God’s joy is like a can opener. Until you get the joy, you cannot open up and enjoy your life. Once you receive joy from God, you will find joy throughout your life just as Paul writes about from prison with a hand chained to a soldier.
Which of these seven things was most helpful to you today? Why?