Jul 19 7:48 AM
Jul 19 7:48 AM
Jul 19 7:48 AM
Monday, July 19, 2021
We all need a little pick me up when it comes to joy. Joy is something that is always available from God, but isn't always something that we engage in our life. So I'm going to spend the next few life lifters writing about joy. This week I want to talk to you about some reasons for joy. I will use the book of Philippians, kind of march through it a little bit, and give you some reasons to have joy. The first reason you can have joy in your life - that uncontainable, amazing feeling of inner satisfaction, peace, contentment, and robust energy that comes from God - the first reason you can have that joy no matter what is because God is at work in you.
When I know God is at work in me, even if some of the edges that are rough need some extra work and smoothing, I can have joy. Even if I have to go to the bandsaw and get some extra stuff cut off, or get stained and varnish, whatever it is, I know God is at work within me. It may not be pleasant, may not be easy, like how varnish stinks and sanding hurts, but it makes us better, and that's what our life is like. I find joy in that, and so did the Apostle Paul. In the book of Philippians, the book of joy, we're going to draw all these principles out for the next few life lifters. Today we will read Philippians 1:3-6. Writing to the Christians at Philippi, Paul said, "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
So, Paul says he's always praying with joy. Why? Because of the partnership that he has seen in the Philippians, because of the progress he's seen in their faith. This fills him with joy. Then, not only has there been progress in their faith, there's guaranteed to be future progress. Once God gets a hold of a person's life, once you become a Christian, God is doing a work that is unstoppable. He will not stop until he is finished. This is the great promise from verse six. Paul says, "I'm confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." He who began a good work in you - what's that? It's God's work in you the moment you became a Christian, if in fact you have. It's the work he began when he forgave you of your sins, when you put your faith in Jesus Christ alone. Paul says God "will carry it on to completion." It's not just a work he does when you become a Christian, it's work he does all the way until the day of Christ Jesus. What is the day of Christ Jesus? It's one of two things. It's basically when your life on Earth ends, and that happens one of two ways. Either you die, which is how it's been for 2000 years, or the Lord comes back for you at the Rapture and takes you to heaven. Whatever the day of Christ Jesus is for you, God says he'll keep doing the work.
When I know that all the things that are happening to me are not random - they're organized by God, and God is using them to do a work in me to help me be the best me - when I really take that to heart and to soul and to mind and to spirit, that fills me with outrageous joy. It ought to fill you with outrageous joy. Nothing that's happening in your life is devoid of the purpose of God, doing a work in you to make you the best person you can be in his eyes. So when you go through tough times, remember the joy you can have because God is at work in you. Do you believe God is at work in you? Do you believe God is using everything that's happening in your life to do a work in you, to bring you to the next place you need to be? When you get ahold of that truth it fills you with joy, outrageous joy. God is at work in you, accept it. See everything working in your life to make you the best you, and you won't complain about it, you'll see joy in it. Father, help all of us know with confidence that that you began a good work in us when we become a Christian. You will continue it until the end of our days on Earth. Thank you. Fill us with joy, with this confidence that you're at work in our lives, and I pray that if there's anybody listening to this who never began a personal relationship with you, that they would begin one by putting their faith in your son Jesus so they could experience this joy as well. Thank you for it, in Jesus' name. Amen.