If anyone has the authority to speak about joy, it's the apostle Paul. Writing from prison, his body marred by the scars of persecution, Paul had every reason to be joyless. But his eternal perspective and love for Christ sustained him to the end. Today, meditate on Paul's instructions for joy from Philippians 4 and soar in the joy of the Lord anew.
We can't always control how we feel, but we can bring our burdens to God and receive His peace.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" — PHILIPPIANS 4:4
1. Rejoice in the Lord—even when your circumstances threaten to drag you under.
"Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near." — PHILIPPIANS 4:5
2. No matter what you're facing, find hope knowing that Jesus is with you to the end—and He is coming soon.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." — PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7
3. Lay your burdens at the cross. We can't always control how we feel, but we can bring our burdens to God and receive His peace.
"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 4:8
4. Don't lose sight of what is good. In difficult times, you'll be tempted to become bitter toward God. Don't forget how much He loves you and all that He has done for you.
"Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." — PHILIPPIANS 4:9
5. Keep saying 'yes' to the Lord—and see what joy He lavishes on you as you obey Him.