Robert Griffith | 3 May 2024
Robert Griffith
3 May 2024


Philippians 4:4  “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice!” (NLT)

It is feasible to “always be full of joy,” but is it actually achievable?  This letter from the New Testament was not written by someone who was enjoying a cocktail on the beach in Hawaii at the time it was written. Who wouldn’t be overjoyed to be in that place?  No, he was locked in prison at the time.

This is one of four letters that the Apostle Paul penned from a prison cell. Given the circumstances he was in, it would have been unthinkable to assume that he would be filled with joy, let alone that he would be urging others to rejoice.

The word ‘joy’ actually appears nineteen times in this letter to the church in Philippi.  Some have even called it the Epistle of Joy.  If you dig a little deeper, you’ll find the source of his joy. While joy seems to be the recurring theme on the surface, there is another word that occurs more than any other word and that is the name of Jesus Christ.

His name appears over forty times in these four little chapters.  He is the one who is the very source of joy!  That explains how Paul could be full of joy despite the limitations and constraints of his circumstances. His joy was found in Jesus, “Always be full of joy IN THE LORD.” You don’t have to be joyful about loss, or painful circumstances, but those circumstances don’t have to rob you of your joy in the Lord.

This is why Paul dared to live in faith while he was a chained prisoner.  His faith in God cleared his vision, so he could see further ahead than his present circumstances. Now that is genuine faith and it produces real joy!  If all that you can see are your present circumstances, then your circumstances will determine your joy.

But when we can get to the place where we find ourselves in the centre of the will of God and know we are in His will, not even the harshest of circumstances will rob us of our joy!  We will see further ahead than our present circumstances because we will always be focused on Jesus, Who is:

Hebrews 12:2  “… the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God!”

In Christ, we truly can experience and inexpressible and glorious joy – and rejoice all the time!