“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4 (New International Version)
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I experienced a discouraging situation today. Someone stole my cell phone when I turned my back for four minutes. I sat my phone down so I could help a coworker hand out snacks to a group of people.
I didn’t have the phone attached to me because I was wearing a dress. I was holding the phone because I was getting ready to call my son. I refused to believe someone took my phone that quick.
I turned in circles, I retraced my steps. I even checked the fridge to make sure I didn’t set the phone in there when I took out snacks. No phone. My feelings were hurt, not just because my phone was gone, but my coworkers and I were going above what we needed to provide.
Some of the people present were familiar to us, but there were also new faces. I couldn’t understand why someone would take a phone that would be shut down as soon as I realized it was missing. I also had a code on it. All I could say was “wow.”
I had bigger issues to deal with at the moment. I realize that life can’t stop because I’m frustrated. My son still had to get to a basketball game. My grandfather’s funeral is coming up in a couple of days. And our day camp program is starting on Monday.
It was several hours later before I was able to get over my feelings of disappointment and discouragement. Now I can say I still have joy. I reflected on my first speaking engagement from last month, where part of the theme was “having joy.”
If you want to learn about having joy, read the book of Philippians. As I prepared for the speaking engagement, I learned a lot about joy. Below is a recap of what I spoke about.
When we think about Paul’s message to the church at Philipi and how the book of Philippians stresses having joy, does it make you wonder how can they have joy? And where can I get some of that joy?
How can we have some of that joy while going through challenges?
For one thing…I Corinthians 4:16 says, “Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.” You see when we follow Jesus, we’re following the right one. It’s like the old Pepsi commercial, “you got the right one babyyyy.”
How many of you know there is purpose in our trials? Somebody reading this may be going through something. Somebody doesn’t know how their bills are going to be paid next week, how they’re going to put gas in their car, worried about their kids or parents. There’s trouble on the job, there’s job loss. All kinds of trials going on, but nothing is too big for God to work out.
When you have joy, the Lord will strengthen you. When you have strength….guess what? You can move forward. Joy is an obligation and something we should have despite our circumstances. Joy comes in our lives because of our relationship with Christ.
The gospel singing duo, Mary Mary said you can’t get mad at the things you been through it builds your muscle. Your faith is NOT small.
Don’t let anyone still your joy! Rest, regroup and keep moving forward.
Have you experienced a time when it was difficult to find joy in a situation?