I've been teaching through the book of Philippians so far this year. Next week we'll start chapter 3.
Philippians was written by Paul, when he was under house arrest in Rome awaiting trial. While there he had to pay for the apt. he was "renting" as well as pay the salary of the guards who were guarding him. The church in Philippi had sent him some money and the book of Philippians is his "thank you" letter to them.
The more I read this book, the more I realize that Paul deeply loves the church in Philippi. He misses them, longs to be with them again. He enjoys them and uses the word "joy" or "rejoice" 14 different times, in 4 chapters.
So, what is joy? Awaken has defined joy as deeper than happiness, not based on circumstances. It is directly related to, and flows out of our relationship with Christ. He is the supplier of joy. It is through this vertical relationship with him, that our horizontal life can function. Happiness is in the horizontal, but joy is deeper.
Does that make sense?
Ok, I'm going to assume that it does. That being said, our pastor was praying last Tuesday night and said "May our brokenness be replaced with joy".
Wait! I have a question. If joy is the overflow of my relationship with Christ, do not I already have joy in the brokenness? Isn't the broken/hurt/crap part of life, where joy is proven strongest? If joy isn't based on circumstances...
And I have to believe that it touches the heart of God when, in the midst of the brokenness, we recognize there is joy.
Why do I believe this? Because I've lived it. Because my life is evidence that joy is deeper than the horizontal heaviness and heartbreak that stares me in the face on a daily basis.
So do I want my brokenness to be replaced with joy? Or do I really desire joy to be evident in the brokenness?