July 22, 2013

The Source of Joy

Philippians 3:7-14

I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.
—Philippians 3:8


Our happiness typically depends on our circumstances. When things are falling into place and going my way, I feel happy!

But when the rain comes or I’m stuck in a long line, when I lose my job or when someone cheats me or ignores me, then I’m unhappy.

Joy, though, is something different. Joy doesn’t depend on circumstances. Joy is an attitude of the heart that lives so deep that circumstances can’t touch it. To practice the Sabbath discipline of rejoicing, we need to learn where to find joy.

Real joy is found in the greatness and wonder of knowing Jesus. That was the one grand passion of the apostle Paul: to know Jesus. He wasn’t content with simply knowing about Jesus. Paul’s deepest desire was to personally know Jesus’ character, love, and grace.

When Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthian church, he said, “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). And in our reading today, Paul says to the Philippian Christians, “I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” Nothing took a more central place in Paul’s life.

The ultimate source of joy is to really know Christ!

Father, I want to know Jesus. By your Spirit, help me come to a deeper experience of your love and grace shown to me through your Son. In his name I pray. Amen.

About the author — Shawn Brix

Rev. Shawn Brix has served as pastor in several Ontario churches. He and his wife, Jenny, have three children.

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