According to Paul in Philippians
Following on from last week, on the subject of Joy, I’m going to talk about how to experience joy during hardships. If you missed it, here’s the link ‘Finding Joy during lockdown.’
Paul, within the book of Philippians, endured many trials but as he wrote to the Philippians he was nothing but encouraging! They were his supporters and this letter was to thank them for their friendship and support. But he knew of the opposition they were experiencing. This letter gives them examples from his own life and demonstrates how they can respond to their situations and experience joy through hardship.
Below are selected scriptures from the book of Philippians to help and encourage us to tune into the Joy God has for us, at all times, even in those times of hardship.
Philippians 1:18-19: But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.
He’s talking about how trouble to him doesn’t matter, even though he’s in chains! Instead, he rejoices and continues to rejoice! Which is purely down to the Holy Spirit and the fact that he knows that whatever happens will turn out OK in the end. And the same goes for you and me also; whatever happens, it WILL be alright and we WILL be delivered from it all.
Philippians 1:23: I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;
Things are obviously pretty hard going for Paul. Here he certainly doesn’t deny that! He’s saying that by leaving the earth to be with Christ would be better for him. And that is exactly what he’s wanting.
And I don’t blame him!
Philippians 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
- By being thankful and praying over and over, through all situations.
Paul’s anxiety is reduced or perhaps even eliminated completely by doing these. So, through these things, we can also achieve this!
How amazing is that?!
Philippians 4:11: I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
Before this verse he was saying how the Philippians were concerned for him but they didn’t actually get the chance to show their concern.
Because he turned his anxieties around, learnt to be content in everything and experiences joy during hardships.
How did he do this and can can we experience this?
The following verses show us how…
Philippians 4:8: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 2:12: Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling
We can see that through these verses. We can achieve this Joy, by:
- Working out your salvation; reading His word, prayer and worship.
- Thinking about pure, lovely and excellent things.
It addition to…
Philippians 2:4: not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Philippians 2:3: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves
- Putting the needs of others first. How can you help/ what can you do for someone else?
Philippians 3:1: Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.
Philippians 4:4: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Paul tell us this a LOT in this book. So, that’s obviously an important thing to do.
Personally I experience His joy most when I’m worshipping Him. Check out, ‘Mood Boosting worship songs.’
Then, as a result from all of this…
Philippians 4:13: I can do all this through him who gives me strength
According to His will, we can deal with and do anything, through His strength.
Thank you Lord!
Let us know how you get on and feel free to share stories of Joy through hardships as this can help to encourage others too, using the form below.