External vs Internal
(Nehemiah 8:10 NIV) “This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
(Philippians 1:3-6 NIV) “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the ﬁrst day until now, being conﬁdent of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Happiness is temporary and external.
Joy is eternal and internal.
(2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV) “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we ﬁx our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Happiness is the result of circumstance
Joy is the result of the Spirit.
(Galatians 5:22-23 NIV) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Happiness just happens.
Joy is chosen.
(Deuteronomy 30:19 NIV) “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”
(Philippians1:9-11 NIV) “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, ﬁlled with the fruit of righteousness (joy) that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God."
1. Stop playing the victim.
(Philippians 1:12 NIV) “Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.”
2. Start playing your hand.
(Philippians 1:13-14 NIV) “As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become conﬁdent in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.”
3. Stay focused.
(Philippians 1:15-18 NIV) “It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selﬁsh ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.”
(Philippians 1:21 NIV) “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”