We are starting a new series which is a study through the book of Philippians. It will take us a few weeks to work through the book, but I am confident that as we see this section of scripture unfold that you will be encouraged, and challenged by what it contains!
I want to start this series by asking you what do you think of when you hear the word joy? How would you describe the feeling of joy?
I think the idea of joy is something that has gone missing to a large extent in our society and unfortunately that is matched often by an absence of joy amongst Christians as well. I am sure you are familiar with the old song – “I’ve got the joy joy joy joy, down in my heart, Where? Down in my heart?” The saying goes that many of us have the joy so deep down in our hearts that our face hasn’t found it yet.
One of the great things about the book of Philippians where we spend some time studying over this series - is that from the start to the finish of this 4 chapter letter, Paul infuses his writing with the encouragement to be joyful. Not silly, not foolish, not ignorant, or disengaged from life – but genuinely and deeply joyful.
So as we start this series – I’d like to pose a few questions for you to ponder over the next number of weeks as we explore Philippians. Are you joyful? Have you forgotten how good it is to feel the warmth of a joyful heart? Have the burdens and troubles of each day robbed you of your joy? When was the last time in the midst of trial or trouble did you stand on the truth that as Nehemiah (8:10) writes – “the joy of the Lord is my strength.”
I’d encourage you to listen along to the message as we set the scene for the series by looking back at the way things were when Paul sat down to write this letter to the church at Philippi.