Friday, July 23, 2021
Over the past two Lifte Lifters, we've been focusing on the subject of joy and finding reasons for joy from the book of Philippians. Today, I want to talk to you about a third reason for joy. So far, we talked about how we can find joy because God is at work within us. We also talked about how we can find joy no matter what, because there is a difference between joy and happiness. Today, I want to talk to you about how you could find joy in another person's success. What I have found is that sometimes I get more joyful when I see somebody else succeed, someone that I've helped, than even in my own success. For instance, I love seeing my kids find biblical success. Love it. It makes me as happy - or happier - than if I had success. I kind of share in their success because I'm their dad. I love when my grandson find success. Love when my wife find success. I love when people in our church find success after we help them and we build into them. It's a partnership. There is a joy in helping someone else succeed.
Sometimes we live in such a self-absorbed, narcissistic world that we forget life is not about ourselves alone. It's about others, too. I mean, you wouldn't want to climb Mount Everest and accomplish such an amazing achievement and be there alone, would you? No, you want to be there with a bunch of friends and say "we did it!" Then, you're as happy for them as you are for yourself, because you did it together. That's what life's about - building into others, so that their success brings you joy. I get that from the book of Philippians 1:23-26. Philippians is the Apostle Paul's letter of joy that he wrote from prison in Rome. Paul says, "I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me."
What Paul said is that he would like to die and be with the Lord, but he does not mean commit suicide. More so, he would like to just give in to all the people that wanted to kill him because he's a Christian. But he says he can't do that because he has work to do here, so it's necessary that he remains here with the Philippians. What's really clear is that somehow Paul knew that he had a purpose in life to help the Philippians grow stronger in their faith, and help them reach their Philippian friends for Christ. Paul goes on to basically say, "My joy comes from being with you, and your joy comes from you being with me." It's like a partnership. In other words, they found joy in each other's successes. The Philippians found joy in learning from Paul and helping him be a successful apostle, and Paul found joy in building them to help them grow as more devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
We find joy in that type of thing. It's like when I see my kids, my grandkids, my wife, people at our church growing, man, I find joy when I see that. I saw someone at BJs. The other day. He used to go to our church moved to Florida and he said, "Hey Vince, I'm going to get baptized at my church in Florida next month." I say, "That is so great!" We talked and I remember how after one service, before he became a Christian, he started crying. He said, "Man, what you said today spoke to me. It gave me such joy," and now he's getting baptized. I told him to send me a picture of his baptism.
Are you getting excited about other people? Are you finding joy and building into others? I'm telling you, you will find joy in reaching goals in your own life, but maybe one of those goals is to help somebody else. Help somebody who doesn't have a father or mother, help a neighbor, help a family member succeed, especially spiritually. And guess what? They're going to have joy, and you seeing their joy and their success will inspire your joy. Joy comes from other people's success, especially their spiritual success. So I encourage you to find somebody to build into. Watch God work, and it will fill you with joy. Father, help us all to get off the backs of other people and get on their team. Help us to know who we're supposed to support and love. And when we see great results, help us to find another source of joy from you in that. So whoever is struggling with joy, help them to stop thinking about their lack of joy and start thinking about helping somebody else find joy, and I know you'll help them find it themselves. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.