We all face challenges in life. In those moments it is often hard to see the big picture of the forest because we are so focused on the size of the tree in front of us. God longs for us to be encouraged in the middle of quarrels, chaos and even the false narrative that happiness is up to us. What if there were a better way: where we could know that a never-ending joy is a possibility when we quit chasing joy and allow God to fill us with His love!
Oct 1, 2017: Introduction (Philippians 1:12-20) We all struggle with having joy (envy get us, problems fester, live negative), but what if the biggest barrier is our thought that we must do this ~ balance the positive with the negative. Today we will learn that the beginning of change comes when we think differently: from a you can do this mentality to a God has this reality.
October 8, 2017: Joy in Death (Philippians 1:21-30) One of the first words we learn is “Mine!” This word continues with us through the stages of life until we hit difficulties. It is then we want to say, “Yours!” Our world has become fixated by playing the blame game. What if there was a different way? Joy comes in dying to our situation by standing by others in their situation.
October 15, 2017: Joy in Emptiness (Philippians 2:1-13) We are built on ambition, prestige and being “self-made.” These have their positive side, but they can also bring about isolation and a destruction to unity. What if there was a better way? Joy comes as we learn that to empty ourselves is to discover a life that is full.
October 22, 2017: Joy in Losing (Philippians 3:4b-14) We are taught in our society that “if it must be, it is up to me.” If we want the next promotion, to get the right spouse, and to have the privileges in our community is all about our resume. What happens, though, when we get where we have wanted only to realize that it still doesn’t bring the joy we’ve been chasing? What if there was a better way? Joy comes when we count our accomplishments as a loss when we see with a greater perspective.
October 29, 2017: Joy in the Middle (Philippians 4:1-9) There are quarrels that happen in our lives and in our world. There are situations where we will have no control whatsoever. How does one have joy when you have no control? What if there was a better way than just fighting our way through it all? Joy is not based on your circumstances on the outside but what fills you on the inside – always!