I believe joy is built into the Christian life. So why aren't more Christians smiling? The answer is tragically simple... the joy-stealers! Philippians tells us simply how to overcome these nasty thieves and how to have true joy every day! This post serves as the series review & recap of our 8-session study of Philippians.
Worry, worry, worry! How many Christians lose their joy and peace because of worry! In this chapter, Paul tells us that the secure mind—the mind that is guarded by the peace of God—frees us from worry. Of course, the believer who does not have the single mind (chap. 1), the submissive mind (chap. 2), and the spiritual mind (chap. 3) can never have the secure mind. We must first live what Paul describes in the previous three chapters before we can claim the promises and provisions of this final chapter.
This weekend, my family attended the estate auction of my grandmother... There were several things that would make the people on those antique reality shows drool. I smiled at the thought as my wife and I walked along the tables looking at everything. But then it happened…we walked by a box of wooden shelves and I saw the crescent moon with a stairwell going from one landing at the bottom of the moon to a landing at the top.
Too many Christians get wrapped up in “things” and lose the joy and peace they ought to have in Christ. They “mind earthly things” and lack that spiritual mind of the dedicated believer. Notice how many times the word “things” is used in this chapter. Here Paul describes the spiritual mind—the mind that thinks God’s thoughts and is directed toward God’s goals.
How different it is for us to exercise the mind of Christ! Walking by sight as we do, we think that to humble ourselves means to lose; yet the Word teaches that the only way up is down. Christ had the submissive mind, and God highly exalted Him. Paul, Timothy, and Epaphroditus had the submissive mind, and they were honored for their sacrifice and service. The best way to get the victory over people and pride is through the submissive mind: the mind of Christ.
Circumstances may cause us to lose our joy, but people can also bring trials that rob us of joy. How many times do we lose our peace and joy because of what people say or do. The best remedy for these trials is the submissive mind, the humble mind that seeks only to honor Christ. Pride is the cause of much unrest and contention (read James 4), but humility brings peace and joy. We could try to learn this the hard way by experience, or we could choose to learn the easy way’ - from the example of others.