Don’t put off joy

Good Morning Everyone,
 
Our theme for this month: “Resilience”
 
Our Bible verse for today: “… for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself.” Philippians 4:11 (CSB)
 
Our thought for today: “Don’t put off joy.”
 
One of the greatest joy-stealers in life is the inability to be content. It’s the state of never being satisfied, always wanting more, newer, bigger, better. It’s tough to be joyful if we’re living in a state or mild agitation and restlessness because we want, or believe we need, more than what we have. We fall into the trap of believing that if we could just find a better job, or if we just had more money, or a bigger house, or a smaller waistline, or if we could just make the situations of our life better, then we would be happy, then we would be content. But that’s almost never the case. Improved circumstances may bring a little relief and some brief happiness for a short while, but soon those yearnings will be replaced with new ones.
 
While it is important to have goals and objectives for improving ourselves and to live the best life we can, there’s a healthy balance that needs to be achieved in our thinking about this. Too many people waste years of their lives yearning for and fantasizing about the life they don’t have, rather than enjoying the life they do have. They’re so focused on the life they want that they fail to fully live the life they have.
 
What the Apostle Paul was writing about in Philippians 4:10-13 was a resilient life that was lived based upon the joy he had in his relationship with the Lord, not on the circumstances of the moment. He was content and joyful regardless of the fleeting and momentary circumstances of life, because his joy came from the Lord, not from the circumstances. That didn’t mean that Paul simply accepted circumstances that should have been unacceptable and which could be improved. He didn’t. If he was hungry, he did what he had to do to get food. If he was in prison, he wanted to be free. If he was being persecuted, he tried to make it stop. If he could improve his circumstances he did. But unpleasant circumstances didn’t define him and they didn’t defeat him.
 
It has been said that joy has more to do with who we are than with what we have; it’s more about the healthiness of our attitude than the health of our body. By all means, improve your circumstances if you can, but don’t surrender your joy if you can’t.
 
I urge you not to put off joy until your circumstances improve. They may never improve. Live the life you have, not the life you wish you had.
 
God Bless,
Pastor Jim  
Copyright © 2021 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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