Philippians 3:1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord!
There are so many things in this world that can bring you a sense of joy and happiness and many of them are legitimate things that the Lord wants you to enjoy. The day you finally walk down the aisle and say “I do” is a day of rejoicing. The birth of a child is a great day of rejoicing. Graduating from school or university and getting your first job are days of rejoicing.
So these are all good things in your life that even bring great joy to the Lord. But the Apostle Paul reveals the one, unfailing foundation that will bring sustainable joy in your life – it is the joy of the Lord.
He says “finally” – in other words, this is the source of joy above all sources of joy!
Romans 15:13 says, Now may the God of Hope fill you with all joy…as you trust (have faith) in Him.
There is nothing in this world that can fill you to overflowing with all joy except for the God of Hope. His joy is unquenchable, it’s everlasting and is without limits. Any joy you can receive from the world will always be limited and have a defined useful life. But the joy that comes from the God of Hope is an everlasting well of joy that sustains you throughout life.
Hope plays a big part in this joy. Hope is a positive or confident expectation that something good is going to happen.
And this is where faith and joy are related. It doesn’t matter what negative circumstance might be occurring around you, you can continually carry a spirit of faith and joy because your Hope is not in or from yourself, it's from the God of Hope. This is why great men of faith in the Bible were also full of joy even in the midst of the most trying of circumstances…
Think about the life of Joseph, enslaved, falsely accused and imprisoned, yet joyful. How could he remain so joyful when he was imprisoned and forgotten for so long? It’s because he never gave up on the God of Hope. He always carried this confident expectation that something good was going to happen.
Abraham is my favorite illustration. The Bible says “against all hope, he continued to hope”. (Romans 4:18) He was old, his wife was old and they were both past childbearing age. Circumstances were against them but Abraham never gave up hoping.
My friend, whenever you are feeling down and discouraged because of delays or your breakthrough is not coming – go to Abraham's story. Draw comfort, faith, and encouragement in his great hope!
Hebrews 6:12 says, We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
We receive what has been promised through faith and patience. When you are discouraged, just ask the Lord to help you be patient, and the joy of the Lord will rise up, bringing you strength! (Nehemiah 8:10)