Philippians – Radical Joy
This radical joy that gives us the urgent, enthusiastic life response of praise to God no matter what is happening around us is found in knowing, really knowing, God intimately. When you love God intimately you want to find out everything about Him. His Son taught us that radical joy comes from trusting in God, knowing God has our best interest in His Heart. It is loving Him back more and more each day as we realize the depth of His love. It is loving others in the same way God loves us.
This indescribable love gives us the desire to love others naturally and appropriately. Nothing forced or fake. How does this happen? God sent His Son, a part of Himself, to imperfect earth to live, to feel all the humanness we feel, to show us how to love each other, how to love God, know Him, and feel His Presence. Then, Jesus willingly followed the will of the Father and laid down his life for our life so that we can have a full, unrelenting, tenacious and intimate relationship with Him that will outlast earth itself. Forever.
God’s eternal love for us and KNOWING that love internally and personally, giving Him all glory for all good, breeds this radical, everlasting joy within us. AND that’s not all. We are finally content in all circumstances as we understand this inexplicable joy within us that is flowing through us. Contentment is another gift of that accompanies God’s gift of peace and joy.
I believe, trust, love God with all my heart, mind and soul. I seek to love others as He loves me. I am content.
Here’s Paul’s explanation of contentment, as he sits in jail, to his friends, the Philippians.
Philippians 4, The Message
Content Whatever the Circumstances
10-14 I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don’t mean that your help didn’t mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles.
Contentment versus Chaos, What do we learn from Paul?
–Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS, and again I say rejoice for God has not left us. Ever.
–It makes us “glad in God” when we love and help each other. Generosity to others is a blessed opportunity to show our gratitude to God for what He has done, is doing and will do for us!
–We learn and mature in our contentment through relying solely and completely on God for all, knowing if God says that’s all we need, then that’s all we need!
–Be happy (joyful) with whatever life throws at you because we know God is with us, for us, and will never leave us.
–Paul’s recipe for radical joy and contentment: “Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.”
–We can make it, too!
“I CAN do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (v13)
I CAN make it, like the “Little Engine Who Could”, around any mountain or valley all because of knowing Christ. I CAN make it with HIS strength in my weakness. I CAN be content in Him no matter what! All because of Christ in me! Not me, but Christ in me!
Philippians 4, The Message – Last words…
15-17 You Philippians well know, and you can be sure I’ll never forget it, that when I first left Macedonia province, venturing out with the Message, not one church helped out in the give-and-take of this work except you. You were the only one. Even while I was in Thessalonica, you helped out—and not only once, but twice. Not that I’m looking for handouts, but I do want you to experience the blessing that issues from generosity.
18-20 And now I have it all—and keep getting more! The gifts you sent with Epaphroditus were more than enough, like a sweet-smelling sacrifice roasting on the altar, filling the air with fragrance, pleasing God no end. You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity. Yes.
21-22 Give our regards to every follower of Jesus you meet. Our friends here say hello. All the Christians here, especially the believers who work in the palace of Caesar, want to be remembered to you.
23 Receive and experience the amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, deep, deep within yourselves.
–Comparing our troubles to another person’s troubles so we can feel better…be content knowing God is for us all.
–Holding back or stalling generosity to those in need.
–Asking God to bless OUR plan. Go with God’s plan. Therein lies His strength and help.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We learn that contentment and radical joy come hand in hand with knowing and trusting You. It also comes in giving You praise and glory before, during and after our temporary troubles here on earth. I love you, Lord with all that is in me. I give you praise today for all the many, limitless ways you show your love for all of us. I believe therefore I am content. It gives me such joy to know and love you. Continue your work to transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, Amen