Notes from sermon entitled “The Power of Joy” by John Benson at life in Christ Church – Tucson , AZ. Sunday, Nov 26th , 2017 @ 11AM .
Overview : Paul writes from prison, yet still had joy. why? Because his suffering has purpose, and is making progress for the gospel. We can have this unconditional joy as well; but we must get the right perspective, and never let Satan steal our joy. How do we get the right perspective? Worship!
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:12-26 NIV
“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear. It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.”
Point 1: Joy even in circumstances
- We get to fellowship with Christ through suffering. we get a deeper , more intimate more fulfilling relationship with Christ by suffering for the sake of the gospel.
- We have Christ with us and who will complete , and carry us through to the end.
- We win in the end
Point 2 : Joy in spite of Enemies
- Attacks are never personal , it’s spiritual . There is a principal , or prince, principality behind it. Go for the throat , not the hoax.
- Paul continues to rejoice (v 18) why? Because no one can take are joy
*Setbacks are a setup, as an arrow in the bow . As a paddle in the boat rows. Your setback is a setup . Don’t let Satan steal you joy.
- When chaos ensues , loook up and see Christ sitting on the throne.
Point 3: His joy in spite of everything .
*as the sun rises and sets. God’s love is faithful
Keep going , God is greater than are circumstances .
* Comment about the movie part: everything in the movies is written . Everything we see on the screen has been written , planned , and executed according to the director . This gives me great joy and security because we can’t rest that the Protaganist , and in our case you and I will make it safely to the end of the story.
Q: how long did Paul live ?