Joy and Peace

Joy and PeaceText: Philippians 4:4-8

The world has always been a place of turmoil, stress, and worry. It seems as though problems have only compounded. However, Paul told the brethren in Philippi to rejoice ALWAYS and be anxious for NOTHING. How can Christians have such joy and peace? We will examine this passage to find out.

Two Ways

  • The way of Christ – joy and peace
  • The way of the world – sadness and anxiety
  • This doesn’t mean that Christians won’t ever feel sad or anxious – it also doesn’t mean that it’s a sin to feel that way; but we do need to recognize the pitfalls/dangers
  • Others will notice how we handle adversity – make your “gentle spirit” known to others (v. 5; cf. 1 Peter 3:15)

Rejoice in the Lord (v. 4)

  • It may seem odd to tell someone to “rejoice” in order to have joy – but this is more than just “put on a happy face”
  • This is about having joy IN Christ – always be mindful of the blessings we have as Christians; we have forgiveness and are no longer enslaved to sin or fear the punishment for sin (John 8:34-36; Romans 6:23); we have hope beyond this life far better than anything we can hope for here (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
  • If we don’t have this joy, we need to spend more time focusing on the blessings we have in Christ

Pray to the Lord (v. 6-7)

  • Do this “in everything” – for anything that could cause us to be anxious, we should pray (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:17)
  • Do this “with thanksgiving” – reflecting on what God has done, has promised, and is providing
  • By doing this, “the peace of God…will guard your hearts and your minds
  • If we don’t have this peace, we need to spend more time in prayer

Dwell on the Right Things (v. 8)

  • Much of having joy and peace comes down to focusing on the right things – what is true is found in God’s word (Psalm 119:160); what is honorable is about being blameless before others (Philippians 2:14-15); what is right is righteous according to God’s law (2 Timothy 3:16); what is pure is free from sin (1 John 3:3); what is lovely is pleasing to others (Colossians 3:14); what is of good repute is that which allows us to shine the light of Christ (Matthew 5:16)
  • We also need to eliminate (as much as possible) the opposite – we should not fill our minds with what is false, contemptible, wicked, sinful, hateful, or disparaging to the name of Christ; our entertainment, news, social media, and conversations can be saturated with such things; if this is what gets our attention, how can we expect to have joy and peace in Christ?

Conclusion

  • Following Christ does not exempt us from the turmoil, stress, and worry of this life
  • But following Christ gives us a frame of mind from which to approach these things
  • Let us rejoice in the Lord, offer our prayers to Him, and focus on what is good as we serve Him here

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