How Can I Get Some Joy!?!
Can you imagine someone coming up to you and saying, "Hey, I just found out I need to have emergency surgery! Can I share my joy with you?" Or how about, "Hey, my house burned down, and I lost all of my possessions! Can I share my joy with you?"
If someone were to say something like the above to you, you might begin leafing through the phone book (do people still do that?) looking for the number to the local psychiatric ward!
It is not natural to have "joy enough to share" when life is rough. Yet as we read Philippians, we find Paul writing about possibly being killed for his faith, and then going on to pen, I will rejoice, and I want to share my joy with all of you. (2:17)
How does Paul do it? Well, he gives us three clues in Philippians 2.
First, he says, "Stay away from complaining and arguing" (v. 14). It is not possible to complain and have joy at the same time. So if you tend to be a complainer, you will often find your joy tank depleted.
Second, the jailed apostle states, "Hold tightly to the word of truth" (v. 16). To have joy, you must be connected to the source of joy. Spending time in God's Word allows you to do just that. If your time in the Word is hit or miss, you just might find that having joy is hit or miss as well.
Finally, Paul instructs, "Live clean, innocent lives as children of God" (v. 15). There is no joy when your life is full of regrets, guilt and shame. So take a moment to "jettison" your past regrets. Give your sin and shame to God and receive His cleansing. You'll soon find your newly cleaned heart is ready to be filled with joy.