Every Christian should exhibit joy in their life because we have so much to be thankful for. Jesus makes it clear to us that He is the One who brings joy into our lives and that we choose whether or not we will have joy to the fullest by our "abiding in Him". (Jn 15:11)
After Jesus had received the seventy disciples that He had sent out on a mission trip, He saw that their joy was in the power of the Holy Spirit that He had given them. He makes it clear to them in Lu. 10:20, that instead of rejoicing in their power over the spirits, they should, "Rejoice because your names are written in heaven."
Our salvation from our sins and the just penalty for those sins should be enough to make us joyful. After all eternal punishment is a terrible consequence for anyone. But for the Christian it is just as much the nature of one who has been born again.
Paul in 2 Cor. 5:17, tells us "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold all things have become new." When we emerge out of the waters of baptism we are "born again" (Jn.3:3-5) The Greek phrase that Jesus used in Jn.3:3 literally means "born anew". We are not what we used to be . This includes an attitude of joyful living. (Gal. 5:22)
This change is an ongoing process in which the Holy Spirit teaches us through our study of the Bible. Especially those teachings of Jesus found in the four Gospel accounts of His life, and the teachings of His Apostles and other writers of the New Testament who were guided by His Holy Spirit. (Jn.16:13, 2 Tim. 3:16,17, 2 Pe. 1:20,21)
When we learn what the Holy Spirit teaches us through God's word and we allow these teachings to guide us and change us, something wonderful happens. We are changed. We will live our lives differently. Now we are living our lives according to Christ's teachings. When this occurs we are showing the world behaviors that Paul in Gal. 5:22-25 calls the fruit of the Spirit. One of these fruits is joy. (Gal. 5:22)
Now read Phil. 1:1-6, Here Paul is writing to a church than ten years earlier he had started in the city of Philippi. Paul's work there is found in Acts 16:9-40. When you read about how Lydia, upon her baptism gladly opened her heart and her home to Paul, Silas, Timothy and Luke, four total strangers, you see the immediate joy of her salvation.
Later when you read of the miracle earthquake and how the jailer immediately afterwards ministered to the needs of Paul and Silas. Then you read that after he and his family were baptized, he immediately took Paul and Silas into his house and fed them you see this great joy! These were the charter members of a church that brought Paul joy.
Over a period of time Paul experienced two financial gifts from the Philippian church that again brought him joy and showed their joy. Read in 2 Cor. 8:1-5 about the great generosity they showed when an offering was taken up for the saints in Judea. Also read in Phil. 4:10-18 about the gift they had sent Paul when he was imprisoned in Rome. In these two passages we see how they brought joy to the Apostle Paul by giving joyfully.
1. In Phil. 1, what did Paul do every time he remembered the church at Philippi?
2. In Phil. 1, what emotion did Paul experience when he prayed for the Philippians?
3. In 2 Cor. 8, Paul speaks of the generosity of the Macedonian churches. What two qualities does he say "abounded in the riches of their liberality"?
4. In Phil. 4:10-18, What other churches in addition to the one in Philippi "shared with Paul concerning giving and receiving"?
5. In Acts 16, after the jailer had set food before Paul and Silas, what did he do?