Good Morning Friends! And welcome to Wednesday in the Word.
Several months ago, while setting my goals for 2014, I chose a word for the year. I wrote it on every month of my agenda book, taped it to my bulletin board, & shared it with all of you. Today I am excited to revisit my word of the year – Joy!
On Sunday, our small group began a new series on Philippians. The Introduction was information and discussion on the background of Philippians. Paul wrote this letter to the people of Philippi in order to encourage them in their faith. Some of my favorite scripture come from these words. However when we take a step back to really look at Paul’s life at the time of this letter, we see that he is in prison. Why am I talking about prision and joy is the same post? Great question.
Like I just explained, Paul was writing to the philippians to encourage them. But lets be honest, how encouraging would we really be if we were in prison? That leads me to look at my word – Joy.
What is Joy?
From the world’s perspective, Joy is happiness. A feeling. An emotion.
The scriptures however speak of something that is a bit different.
Last night at small group we tried to narrow down a definition. Here are some thoughts we came up with…
Joy is an orientation of the heart, a posture of contentment, an outpouring of hope. Joy is not something that can be taken away easily & it cannot be faked. It is not a feeling, although we feel it. It is not happiness, although it can make us happy. It is not dictated by circumstances unless we allow it too. It’s not always positive (Hebrews 12:2). It is an attribute of God.
What does Joy mean to you?
In Paul’s letter to the Philippians he writes four chapters that reflect how Joy should rule in our life. Here are the four ways we are breaking it down at church:
Joy in living – Philippians 1:21Joy in Serving – Philippians 2:5Joy in Sharing – Philippians 3:14Joy in Resting – Philippians 4:6-7
Read those four scripture. What areas of your life have the most Joy? What areas are lacking Joy?
For me, I lack joy in resting. When the verses talk about not being anxious…you see my picture for just the opposite. I tend to be anxious about everything. From work & bills to simply cleaning my house & taking a shower, I always have to have a plan. An agenda. A to-do list. There is just no joy in resting in my life. My application this week is to pray about priorities & to be intentional with my tasks. All that I have is gift from the Lord, including my time. I highly doubt my excessive list making is the most efficient use of my time or talents.
I am so thankful that you are here today & I would so love it if you joined in this conversation. I’ll be studying this a lot the next few weeks so it’s likely my Wednesday’s in the Word will reflect that. Will you join me too?
Frankly my dear…Have Joy!