Who doesn’t like the sound of feeling joyful by a fresh sugary donut? I know what a fresh donut tastes like, I used to work at a donut shop during my teens. To say I gained weight the year I worked there is an understatement. One could say that sugar has a way of making us want more and more after we begin eating it. The interesting aspect of sugar is the crash, the more sugar we eat the harder we fall down from the sugar high.
I believe joy is somewhat like sugar. Once we get that heavenly taste of it we want more, especially since we don’t crash from it. The problem is that sometimes this joy is difficult to come by with life’s unpredictable circumstances. You know what happens just as well as I do:
-You finally get that job promotion only to find out it isn’t what you expected.
-Some money is finally in your emergency savings, then you find out that your transmission needs work.
-The spouse you married is not living up to your expectations.
-Children that you cared for and raised are not listening to you or heeding to your advice.
-Chemo is finally done, only to find out that the cancer is back 3 months later.
How do I access this heavenly joy here on earth no matter what happens in my life?
Philippians 4:4 (NASB)
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
Philippians is one of those books in the Bible we look to for encouragement and remembrance of the joy we should have in Christ. The whole premise to this book is Paul’s overwhelming emotion of gratitude toward the church in Philippi for their unwavering support of him and his ministry.
When we look at the word “rejoice” we should take a look into Koine Greek and discover this picture of joy. It literally means “to take pleasure” in. “Take pleasure” in the Lord always; again I will say, “take pleasure in the Lord!” Taking pleasure in the Lord can only happen once we understand who the Lord is and how His character oozes love and affection for us.
Who is the Lord and why should I take pleasure in Him?
Philippians 2:6-11 (NASB)
6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus, the absolute perfect form of God in human flesh. Think about that for a moment. God in human form? Philippians 2:7 says that Jesus emptied Himself so that He could take on the form of a man. He not only emptied Himself of His Kingdom reign in Heaven right next to God, but He was obedient to God’s plan of suffering on a torture device in our place. Are you ready for the best part?
This is why we have joy in any circumstance of life:
Every single living being with knees will bow at the feet of Jesus. Every single living being with a tongue will confess that He is Lord, for God’s glory.
Are you that person that will willingly confess or be forced to? Trust me friend, you want to be on the willing side.
God is in control of your life, just like His perfect will was for Jesus to die so that we can be freed from sin and death. Jesus’ death and sacrifice is worth taking pleasure in. Next time you find yourself upset from failed earthly expectations, look up and take pleasure in Jesus.
Points To Remember: PTR
- God is in control of your life and He hears you.
- Jesus stepped down from a position of kingship to free you from sin and death.
- We take pleasure in Jesus, not because we want to feel better emotionally, but because of who He is.