Joy To The World #2 – Find Joy Even When You Are Suffering

Everyone on this earth will experience suffering, to varying degrees, throughout their lives. The question is not if it will happen, but how you will respond to it. In Philippians 1:15-30, Paul teaches that the Holy Spirit can empower you to have joy in suffering or even death.

Find Joy Even When You are Suffering: Philippians 1:15–30

  • Biggest person? JC; Biggest holiday? XMAS
  • When JC born a mystery. Early church & Saturnalia
  • We do know JC was born of his mother Mary.
  • Bible uses the analogy of birth & birth pains in referenced to suffering leading to joy
  • Paul is in a season of suffering
  • Imprisoned, away friends, no family, future uncertain, critics mocking & positioning
  • Suffering: 1). Physical 2). Spiritual 3). Mental 4). Emotional 5). Financial 6). Legal
  • No clue how long this will last, or what the outcome will be (no finish line to run to)

= Suffering 1). Waste it or 2) Invest it 18X NT joy & suffering/sorrow spoken of together

There’s Joy in Speaking About Christ

Philippians 1:15–18 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.

1.    Good Message, Good Motive – “from good will”; “out of love”; “in truth”

  • Fill the hole Paul left
  • Churches & ministries should complete one another, not compete w/one another

2.    Good Message, Bad Motive – “envy…rivalry” “selfish ambition”; “to afflict me”; “in pretense”

  • Then: not anti-Christ but anti-Paul (Fundamentalism 2nd degree separation”; Liberalism)
  • Now: +/- platforms – attack Bible teachers, click bait, libel/slander = fear, marketshare

3.     Bad Message, Good Motive – 4:2 “I entreat Euodia & I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord”

  • Misguided folks who have been poorly taught & need some help

4.    Bad Message, Bad Motive – 3:2 “dogs” “evildoers” 3:18 “enemies of the cross of Christ”

  • Good news is not best shared through negative ministry
  • Message are best dealt with publicly; messengers are best dealt with privately
  • 40+ churches gave to & prayed for us, valley pastors welcomed & prayed over us

There’s Joy in Living or Dying with Christ

Philippians 1:18-26  Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith,  so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.

Paul is uncertain if he will live or die, or which he prefers

  1. Live + – suffer as an example, preach Christ, see & serve others  =Better YOU
  2. Die + – “deliverance” = vindication in eternity, suffering over, see Christ, rest = Better ME

0-30 – ambitious/chasing; 40-50 busy; 50+ you can start to see your finish line

= No matter what you need: a. “rejoice” b. “prayers” c. “the help of the Spirit of JC”

Husband married 20+ years, last year best, “walked her home”

What Happens to A Christian After Death?

Philippians 1:21-23 to live is Christ, and to die is gain…My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.

  • Body – goes to ground; Soul – goes to God

Philippians 3:20-21 our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

  • Body & soul reunited & raised perfect
  • Grandpa George & miscarried child

= Kingdom – joyful family reunion party (Bible teaching in fun environment; XMAS Eve)

There’s Joy in Living with Christ

Philippians 1:27-30 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

2 Kingdoms in conflict & you are in the fight

  • God works through faith & relationship
  • Satan works through fear & isolation

Christianity is about 1). Suffering as a Kingdom Citizen 2). Salvation arriving Home

You are saved by suffering in past, through suffering in present, from suffering in future

There’s Rejoicing in Even Suffering or Dying

1:18 “I rejoice”

1:19 “Yes, and I will rejoice”

1:25 I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith

  • Roughly 19X in Philippians “joy/rejoice”

11 Causes of Cheerless Christians

  1. God is not a happy God – God is Jesus all emotions – 60X
  2. God cares about your holiness, not your happiness (both)
  3. Joy is not an emotion or a feeling but a mindset (both)
  4. It is selfish to seek happiness -can be, can also be selfish to not have joy
  5. Joy and happiness are very different things – 100X same verse, 2700 verses – joy, rejoice, gladness, feasting, happiness, delight, feasting, celebration, cheer
  6. To choose joy when life is hard is disingenuous faking it. -sorrow & rejoicing; joy & cross
  7. Joy is not for all personality types
  8. Cheerfulness is childish – 400X day kids laugh, 15X day adults “come to me as child”
  9. We should enjoy the Giver, not the gift. – both/and – XN joy is doubled
  10. Joy comes after this life, not in this life. (both/and; Jesus @ parties)
  11. Joy is impossible in this fallen, broken, hurting, anxious, stressed world. (Heaven down)

7 Reasons for Christians to be Cheerful

  1. God is happy (Trinity)
  2. God made us for happiness which is why everyone is searching for it (Eden = delight)
  3. The pursuit of happiness can lead to God. (man testimony “tried to feel good & now do”)
  4. The message of Christianity is “good news” to share with others
  5. God’s Kingdom is a happy one. (no more tears or mourning)
  • Option #1 – God & happiness forever
  • Option #2 – No God & no happiness forever = they go together forever
  1. A cheerless Christian is a bad advertisement for the good news of Jesus Christ
  2. God has joy big enough for you to enjoy your life

Lk 2:10-11 “the angel said…”I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Lk 10:21; Gal 5:22

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Mark Driscoll

It's all about Jesus! Read More