Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Philippians-Joy VS Happiness

In my Bible that I am studying with, there is a page before the actually book begins that describes the book and author.  Philippians explains that Happiness depends on circumstances and Joy runs deeper.  This is definitely a truth that we should all hear.  If you have happiness with a special someone, what happens when they die! If you have happiness over an earthly possession, what happens when it is burned, lost, or stolen! If you have happiness in your health, what happens when it deteriorates! Joy is the quiet, confident assurance of God's love and work in our lives-that he will be there no matter what!  Joy depends on Christ not earthly things.To tell the truth, by starting the book this way, I was put into perspective before I even began reading.  Thank you Lord :-) 

Joy for me is in these truths:

1:6 "...that he who began a good work in [me] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."  The Lord is not done with me.  I can praise him even in my darkest times, because he loves me and knows whats best for me.  I know that he loves me more than my earthly mother could ever imagine.  

1:13-14 "As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.  Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly."  The "chains" that I am dealing with here on this earth are for the Lord.  He never allows anything that I can't handle and always gives me a way out.  I will praise him no matter what! 

1:18-19 "...Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance."

1:27 "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ"

2:3,5,14-16 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus (humbled himself before others and came to serve, not to be served).  Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life.-in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing."  

I pray that I will be a servant among men.  I pray that you can reach the world with your generosity and love.  Lord, keep my attitude, even with those I love, true to your standards.  I continue to pray for healing, but ask that you only allow encouraging and uplifting words to be spoke about my condition.  I do not want to complain or argue with you Lord.  I give you my petitions.  Take them and let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 

3:10,14,20-21 "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him his death."  Isn't that the ultimate goal for Christians-to follow God even if it takes us to death.  This can seem a little daunting, but I will conquer the fear of death with Jesus by my side.  "I [will] press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." The goal unto which I think of is heaven.  There everything is perfect and good.  So remembering that "our citizenship is in Heaven and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."
4:6-7,11,13,19 "Do not be anxious in anything, but in everything, 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." In this world, we are missing the punch line.  We are leaning on material things and money to make us happy.  I can clearly say that I am joyful not happy, because "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." I have been broke and almost homeless, which I still found the Lord in it all.  I know that "I can do everything through him who gives me strength.  And my God will meet all [my] needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."  

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