Jesus Opens the Way to Joy
Draw strength and happiness from the power of God's promise.
It has been assumed by some who do not know, that Christianity is a gloomy religion. Its chief emblem is, of course, the Cross, a symbol of suffering. But, in a higher sense, the Cross is the symbol of glorious victory. Faith in the Cross of Christ gives victory and salvation, and therefore the true Christian is always happy. He is constantly rejoicing. “Always be joyful in the Lord! I’ll say it again: Be joyful!” (Philippians 4:4).
One reason for the Christian’s happiness is his wonderful relationship with a good God. So loving is the heavenly Father that we are not to be fearful and hesitant about life. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6). Do this joyfully and lovingly and with true faith, and great things will come to you.
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The rest of this 4th chapter in Philippians outlines just how wonderful your life can be. “The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (verse 7). Then comes a list of the things we are to think about and make vital in our lives. If our thoughts are filled with truth and honesty and purity and loveliness, we will have God’s peace (verse 8).
So great and meaningful is the sense of Christ’s presence that, when we have this greatest of all possessions, we will also have an awareness of spiritual power. Then we are ready to make that most astonishing affirmation: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (verse 13).
Christianity opens the way to joy and victory, and the secret is simply this: Live with Christ. Then, as the Apostle Paul says, “My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (verse 19).
Why not be joyful?