Joy is “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.” It’s the emotion we feel when life is good, or so we are told by the by the world we live in. Now according to big corporation, we have entered the season of joy, the season of Holly Jolly and chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Unfortunately, this time of year isn’t joyous for everyone, in fact it’s a time of sadness for some. So, what gives a person true joy, a joy that is everlasting, a joy that even lifts one’s spirits in the valleys of life? This is the type of joy that we should all be seeking and longing for, but it’s only available through knowing and imitating our LORD and savior Jesus.
When was the last time you used the word “rejoice” in a normal conversation? “Rejoice” is one of those words which you rarely, if ever, get to use except when reading the Bible aloud. Despite its lack of use in everyday vocabulary, its meaning is clear; rejoice means to “be joyful”. The concept of joy and rejoicing is a common theme in the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments. God wants us to be joyful. Of the 326 occurrences of the word for joy in the New Testament, 131 are found in the ten letters usually ascribed to Paul, namely 40 percent.
Philippians is the most joyful book in the Bible — the apostle Paul uses the Greek words for joy and rejoicing sixteen times in only 104 verses. And yet he writes from a dingy Roman prison, a place we would typically associate with misery and trial, which most people assume are the opposites of joy. He’s surrounded by every conceivable obstacle to joy, so why does he seem so happy? Read Philippians and Join your brothers and sisters in Christ the next 4 Sundays in a 9:30am study class and a lesson during 10:30am worship discover the joy that God wants us to experience.
It's a wonderful life in the joy of Christ!