Happy New Year is an expression that many of us will hear near the beginning of a new year.

The word joy evokes visions of driving the right car, meeting the right person, living in the dream house, or vacationing in an exotic location.

Mankind makes a life long pursuit out of chasing this elusive idea of happiness —– spending money, collecting things, and searching for new and exciting experiences. If happiness depends on circumstances and

“everything going our ways:, what happens when the toys rust, when loved ones dies, when health fails, when the money is gone, and the party is over? Often happiness flees and despair sets in.


Joy stands in contrast to happiness. Joy does not depend on circumstances or outward happenings, but rather has its springs deep down inside.

Joy is the quiet, confident assurance of God’s love and work in our lives, the certainty that He will be there no matter what.

As someone has said. “Happiness depends on happenings, but joy depends on Jesus”. In John 15:11, Jesus said, “these things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” Jesus had just spoken about the

importance of abiding in Him and bearing much fruit, using the analogy of the vine and the branches. This only true source of lasting joy is a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Joy is a major theme of the New Testament. The word “joy” occurs 63 times and the word “rejoice” occurs 77 times. The world

translated “greeting” in the New Testament literally means, “joy be with you” Joy is one expression of the fruit of the spirit.

In 1 Thessalonians 5: 16, we are commanded to “Rejoice evermore.” The prophet Habakkuk, in spite of the losses he experienced, was able to declare with

confidence, “yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my Salvation” (Habakkuk 3: 18). Each day we are confronted with the choice, and with the obligation to rejoice in the God of our salvation. Joy is not an option.

The book of Philippians is Paul’s letter of joy. The letter was written while he was a prisoner in Rome, and it was sent to his

fellow Christians at the church in Philippi. One of their members, Epaphroditus, had been sent to Rome to bring a special offering to Paul and to help him in his time of need. Paul’s letter to the Philippians

church is an expression of his gratitude and love for them, but it is so much more than that. It also emphasizes the joy of the Christian life. At least 17 times in the four

chapters, Paul mentions joy or rejoicing. The letter radiates joy, culminating in the command of Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice.”

There appeared to be no reason for Paul to be rejoicing. He was a Roman prisoner and his case was coming up shortly. According

to verses 15-17 of the first chapter of Philippians, the believers at Rome were divided; some supported him and some opposed him. In fact, some of the Christians even wanted to make things more difficult for the Apostle.

Yet, in spite of the danger and opposition, Paul overflowed with joy. What was the source of joy ? The answer is found in

another word that is often repeated in his letter. It is the word mind. The word is used ten times; the word think is used four times, and the word remember (or remembrance) is used one time – a total of 15 references

to the mind. There is a close connection between Christian joy and the attitudes of our mind. Warren wiersbe describes four attitudes of the mind that are essential for experiencing joy in the Christian life.

The single mind signifies the attitude of single – hearted devotion to Christ. This is

expressed by Paul in verse 20 and 21 (of Philippians 1), “. . . Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death. for to me to live is Christ, . . .”

Paul’s highest priority in life was serving Jesus Christ, and as a result, the difficulties he encountered did not rob him of joy in the Lord. Throughout chapter one, Paul

discusses the difficult circumstances he faced. He was a prisoner in Rome (he was in chains) and some of the Christians there opposed him and even tried to stir up trouble for him.

yet, in the midst of all of those circumstances, he could write at the end of verse 18, “I therein do rejoice, yea and will rejoice.”Paul viewed his circumstances in

relationship to the priority of serving Christ. In verse 14 Paul wrote that because of his bounds, many of the brethren were encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. In verse 17 Paul views his upcoming trial as being set

for the defense of the gospel set for the defense of the gospel. Paul rejoiced in his difficult circumstances because they encouraged other believers to be bolder in

their WITNESS FOR Christ, and enabled him to defend the Gospel before the courts of Rome. Because Paul possessed the single mind of wholeheartedly serving the Lord, he

viewed the circumstances of life as working for him and not against him, and therefore, he could rejoice in the lord no matter how great the difficulties he faced

The reason why we are so often distracted by the difficult circumstances of life and fail to experience the joy of the lord is that we do not cultivate “the single mind” as we should. James 1:8 says, “A double minded

man is unstable in all his ways. “we will not experience the joy of the lord when we are trying to live for Christ and pursuing our own

self-fulfillment at the same time. Oswald chambers wrote, “joy comes from seeing the complete fulfillment of the specific purpose for which I was created and born again, not from successfully doing something of my own choosing.

Surrendering our own personal goals and ambitions to the authority of the lord may seem to be too restrictive and confining to some people but Jesus Said, “He that

findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 10:39). Jesus teaches us to measure our lives by losses rather than gains, by self-sacrifice rather than self-

preservation. A secular psychiatrist once remarked, “The greatest secret of mental health comes down to us in the words, “Whoever would save his life will lose it, and

whoever loses his life will save it. “He added, “I forget who said that, but it is a great truth.” actually, he missed an important phrase. Jesus said, “Whosoever will save his life

shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find (Matthew 16:25). Not only is that the greatest secret of mental health, but it is also the secret to experiencing the joy of the Lord.

we may intend to think that devotion to Christ involves a big heroic decision of life, like going on the mission field or doing something really big for Christ. Sometimes

devotion does involve that. But foe most of us most of the time, our devotion to Christ involves decisions in the everyday events of life. It may involve a commitment to

sacrifice more of our personal time to Christ in order to serve in some form of ministry in the church, such as teaching a Sunday school class or in the responsibility of being a trustee. It may involve a commitment in

the family life such as having family devotions or looking for opportunities to serve others as a family. it may involve a commitment to refrain from spending

money on a luxury item or a hobby so that we can help support missionaries or Christians who are persecuted for their faith. most of the time, our devotion to Christ is

expressed in the activities of everyday living. Cultivating a “single mind” of devotion to Christ is essential for experiencing joy in the Christian life.

The second chapter of Philippians focuses on people, and the key verses are verses 3-4: “Let nothing be done through strife or

vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves look not every man on his own things, nut every man also on the things of others”. In verse 5 Paul goes t write, “let this mind be in you,

which was also in Christ Jesus.”
There can be no joy in the life of the Christian who is selfish and puts himself above others. From an unknown source comes an article titled “How to be

Miserable.” It says, “Think about yourself; talk about yourself; use “I” as often as possible; mirror yourself continually in the opinion of others. Listen greedily to what

people say about you. Expect to be appreciated. Be suspicious . Be jealous and envious. But sensitive to slights. Never forgive a criticism. Trust nobody but yourself. Insist on consideration and respect. Demand agreement with your own

views on everything. Sulk if people are not grateful to you for favors shown them. Never forget the service you have rendered. Shrink your duties if you can. Do as title as

possible for others. “We expect unsaved people to be selfish and grasping, but this should not be true of Christians, who have experienced the love of Christ and the

fellowship of the spirit. The eyes of Christians are to been turned away from themselves and focused on the needs of others.

In Philippians 2, We find several example of the submissive mind. Each example illustrate three characteristics of a

submissive mind. Thinking of others, serving others, and sacrificing for others. Persons with the submissive mind do not avoid sacrifice. They live for the glory of Gdo and the good of others.

In verse 8, we read that Christ “humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” In verse 17., Paul alludes to a willingness to be offered

upon sacrifices and service of their faith. In verse 20, we read this about Timothy, “I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care

for your state,” for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me”.

“Others” is the key word in the vocabulary of the Christian who exercises the submissive mind. That does not mean that the believer

is at the beck and call of everyday else, or that he is a “religious doormat” for all to use. In 2 Corinthians 4:5, Paul gives the right perspective when he writes, “ourselves your servant for Jesus sake.”

A story was told about a writer for a major newspaper who visited India. One day he met a missionary nurse who lived among the lepers and served them. The reporter

looked upon her with amazement and remarked, “I wouldn’t wash the wounds of the lepers for a million dollars!” “Neither would I,” answered the missionary nurse, “but I gladly do it for Christ. I have no thought of any reward other than His smile of approval !”

The third attitude of mind that is essential for experiencing joy in the Christian life is found in verse 18-19 of chapter 3. Paul

describes those who “mind earthly things”. Many people today are living under delusion that joy is to be found in the temporary things of this world. They mind earthly things.
Percy Anisworth tells of a picture hanging on London, Which is one of the most tragic pictures ever painted. It portrays the last

rough slope of a maintain leading to the edge of precipice, at the foot of which one catches a misty glimpse of a graveyard. A crowd of men and women pack the slope, all

struggling for a foothold on the highest point and tearing and treading upon one another. They are gazing upward where the filmly, beckoning, mocking figure of pleasure floats out of reach. The picture is called,

“The pursuit of pleasure.” On that grim, sunless canvas the artist had not painted on a happy face; not a smile, not even a flicker of gladness; nothing but fear, hatred, selfishness, and pain is seen. That painting

is a commentary on the world’s pursuit of joy and happiness. Joy is not found in pleasure. Lord Byron had his fill of pleasure.

Toward the end of his life, he wrote, “The worm, the canker, and the grief are mine alone.” Joy is not find in wealth or possessions, Neither is joy found in position nor fame. 

In contrast to those who “mind earthly things,” Paul in verse 20-21 describes the believer with the spiritual mind. “for our

conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like his

glorious body according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” it is this anticipation of Christ’s coming that motivates the believer with the spiritual mind. He does not live for

the things of this world; he anticipates the blessing of the world to come. This does not mean that he ignores or neglects his daily obligations, but it does mean that what he

does today is governed by what Christ will do in the future. First John 3:3 says “… every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”

The scripture repeatedly teach that the focal point of our joy should be our hope of a blessed future. The apostle peter mentions “an inheritance, incorruptible, and undefiled,

and that fadeth not away reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be,

ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations (trials0” (1 peter 1:4-6).
in Hebrews 10:34. we read of a group of

Christians whom joyfully accepted the spoiling of their goods, because their focus was on the inheritance that awaited them.

The fourth attitude of mind that is essential for experiencing the joy of the lord is found in verse 6 Philippians 4: “Be careful (anxiousfor nothing. “The greek word

translated careful (or anxious) means “to be pulled in different direction.” Our hopes pull us in one direction and our fear pull us in another direction. That describes worry. the old English root from which we get our word

:worry” maens “to struggle”. If you have ever really worried, you know how it does strangle a person. Proverbs 12:25 8in one translation (NIV) says, “An anxious heart weighs a man down.” Worry is a thief of joy.

In Philippians 4:6, Paul says we are not to be

anxious and then says,”in every by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving,let your request be made known unto God.” A related scripture is 1 Peter 5:7,” Casting all your care

upon him, for he careth for you.” The world translated casting dwscribes the action of casting a blanket on a Colt or a snack of potatoes on a truck.we are admonished to

cast our cares upon the Lord. paul continue in Philippians 4:7,”And the peace of God which passes all understanding, shall keep(guard) your hearts and minds through

Christ Jesus.” that describes a secure mind. Because Paul possessed a secure mind,he could write in 2 Corinthians 6:10,”As sorrowful,yet always rejoicing.”

In summary, there are two results of joy: one,the Joy of the lord gives strength (Nehemiah 8:10).two,the joy of the Lord on the inside will develop radiance on the outside (2 Corinthians 4:6)


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