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Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

A Joy Filled Life in Troubled Times

Philippians 1:3-6 – When Paul wrote Philippians his life’s circumstances were anything but joyful.

A key to having joy in troubled times is a focus on Jesus and not our circumstances.

Three aspects:

  1. fellowship in Christ
  2. growth of the gospel
  3. the increasing of our faith.

God has begun a good work in you and he will complete it until the day you meet Jesus.

Philippians 1:7-8 – Paul considers other Christians as fellow partakers of grace and it causes him to long for them with great affection. This grace and affection is a key to the joyful life.

A key to having joy in troubled times is to focus on grace.

When you feel a lack of joy and just cannot seem “choose” joy for the moment, think about the grace God has shown you.

Philippians 1:9-11 – Again you find Paul focusing on others and not on his own circumstances.  

Paul didn’t say “life stinks. There is nothing wrong with being tempted to feel that way, {it is the natural human response} it is only wrong to actually follow through with it, and choose to remain in that mindset.

  • It’s always a choice. Your joy, your happiness, your content IS YOUR CHOICE.  
  • If you don’t remember anything else about this lesson remember this: YOUR JOY IS  A CHOICE NOT DEPENDENT ON CIRCUMSTANCES

A key to having joy in troubled times is to choose to focus on others, praying and blessing them rather than focusing on your own circumstances.

Philippians 1:12 – make the gospel a priority in your life.

  • Whether done of love or of selfish ambition, the only thing Paul cared about was that Christ was preached. Therein he found his joy.

A key to having joy in troubled times is when we look for how God is using our circumstances to further the Gospel and glorify Christ.

Paul believed (and lived) that in every circumstance we can’t help but have joy if we have the right mindset.

  • There is no circumstance of trouble that cannot result in joy if we seek to find how it may focus others on the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:21 – a foundational principle of the Christian life.

  • If we live, our life brings glory to Christ but if we die, it is to our gain because we go to be with Christ.

Philippians 1:27-30 – Selfishness or self focus always breeds discontent and unhappiness.

  • The Biblical approach to contentment, joy and happiness is always encapsulated in the idea of focusing on others, especially Jesus Christ, rather than our self or our circumstances along with the goal of “putting the past behind and pressing on”

A key to having joy in troubled times is remembering that our life is not our own, our future is not our own, our plans are not our own, and our reputation is not our own.

  • Whenever we choose to focus on others and on Jesus Christ with the mindset that no matter what happens it is Christ’s glory that matters, only then do we discover the secret of true joy in troubled times.

Philippians 1:27-30

A key to having joy in troubled times is to remember that we are not alone.

  • We are not alone. We take joy in knowing that God is not left us all alone in our struggle.
  • We can be confident we are on the winning side.

A key to having joy in troubled times is to remember that we have already won the battle.

Paul reminds us that it is a privilege to suffer for Jesus.

  • It is hard for us in our modern way of thinking that it is ever a privilege to suffer for any reason.
  • This is a privilege granted only to those who suffer for the sake of Christ. It is impossible for all others.

A key to having joy in troubled times is to remember is a privilege to suffer for the sake of Christ.

  • Are you focused on yourself or on Christ?
  • Are you complaining about your circumstances or focused on and praying for others?
  • Are you having a pity party because life is so hard or are you choosing to remember that you are not alone and that our victory is already secured?

Are you choosing to believe that your difficulties can glorify Christ and further the gospel or are you just consumed and focused on the fact that you are unhappy and life is not going your way?