Peace

Sunday Devotional: Finding Peace in Joy

Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

– Philippians 1:1-2

Grace and Peace, this is how the great apostle Paul opens his letter to the church of Philippi. In Paul’s time, a letter had to convey what was important. There was no alternative in speaking with loved ones far away, no email, no skype, no texting.

Paul also knew, like any good teacher, that his words needed to convey meaning as quickly as possible. His letter to the Philippians is unique in the fact that he is not trying to put out any fires here. There is no issue needing correction so he can move on to the really important message: Joy.

The letter to the Philippians is a love note from Paul’s heart. His hope is to teach these precious people joy in the Lord, the joy that gives grace and peace to a man who writes from a prison cell.

"

The Peace of Joy

According to Dictionary.com the definition of joy is :

a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.

How do you define happy? Most of us will define our happiness based on what society has defined it as. In modern American culture happiness is fame, it’s a social media following, its brand names, it’s the next relationship or job promotion. We define our happiness by what we have or the positions we hold.

Our American founders understood the elusiveness of happiness. The Declaration of Independence clearly states that all men have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Life can be guaranteed, so can Liberty, but happiness can only be pursued.

In the state of today’s world, this pursuit of happiness can be very disheartening. When material wealth or shallow relationships become our focus we learn quickly that the empty bleak feeling we were trying to chase away still remains in the wake of worldly success.

We live in a world of no good news. No president can make things better, no media outlet, no political party can change the empty, joyless world we survive in.

You are probably reading this thinking “wait a minute I thought this was a message of peace and joy?” And your right it is. You see we have to face the fact that no worldly outlet can give us the fullness of joy that we seek. The happiness that helps us thrive comes not from what is around us but something far more real.

There is no joy in the world, but there is joy in the Lord. This is the joy and peace and grace that Paul shares with the Philippians. This is the joy we will be searching out this advent season in our Sunday devotionals. Cling to the truth that joy comes from Jesus Christ who brings it to us from the kingdom of heaven.

Prayer

O Lord, you are my refuge, my strong tower, my solid rock on which I stand. Forgive me my worship of the world’s definition of happiness and realign my heart to the joy I can only find in your presence. Open my eyes to see your blessings around me. Help me, O Lord, to return to you this Advent season to understand and know the truth of your greatest gift, your son Jesus Christ. Father God, please help me to feel your joy and share it with others around me. In Jesus’s precious name I pray, Amen.

 

Related Posts