RSS Feed

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Learning To Be Joyful In All Things

In summary of Philippians 4:6 it says,
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”

Bottom Line:
Instead of worrying, start praying.  Tell God what you are concerned about or what you need.  Ask Him with a thankful heart.

What this means to me:
Instead of being anxious or worrying about things, I should turn and shape them into prayers.  But to be sure and ask Him with a thankful heart.  I need to remember that God wants to hear from me.  
Joy is a fundamental need for life.  Life without joy can be overwhelming, overburdened and oppressive.  When joy is present I can have much more energy, creativity, and productivity.  
In the rather short book of Philippians (4 chapters) Paul uses the word “joy” 16 times. The amazing thing is, Paul didn’t write this book when he was on vacation in a tropical paradise. He was in prison in Rome, waiting to be executed. In the darkest days of his life, he wrote the most positive book in the Bible.  In Philippians, Paul presents six joy-builders that if I take heart in will help diffuse any discouragement and lift depression. I found an easy acrostic for them — JOYFUL.  Here are the first three:
J: Jettison all regrets about your past.  This means to “to abandon as worthless, to discard, to eliminate, to get rid of.” Paul says if you want to enjoy life, there are some things you’ve got to get rid of because they are wearing you down and overburdening your life. The Bible says to forget your regrets, because that's what God does — he chooses to forgive your mistakes once they're confessed. The starting point of joy is letting go of the past. Philippians 3:13 says, “One thing I do is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead” (GN).
O: Omit all worries about your future. If you’re going to enjoy the present, you must omit all worries about your future. Worry, is the greatest killjoy of them all. You cannot be joyful and worried at the same time. Paul’s antidotes are these verses: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (Philippians 4:6 NLT). You can either worry or you can pray.
Y: Yield yourself to God's purpose.  If you’re just drifting, if you don’t know where you came from or where you’re going or why you’re here, of course you’re not going to have any joy in your life. We all need a cause greater than ourselves for which we live. That is what brings us joy. Living for yourself does not bring joy.
Even when Paul had literally lost everything, there was one thing that could not be taken away from him — his purpose in life. Paul says in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (NIV).
To start on having a joy-filled life, I need to get in line with God’s purpose for my life. When I begin to live the purpose for which I am made, life will makes sense, and joy is more easily found.  Today I will consider what I’m worried about?   Then what will I need to do to release my worry?  How will I need to yield?