“Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith.” – {Philippians 1:25}

How often do you hear “I am here for your Joy to grow?” “SAY WHAT?” Seems strange. Imagine having a church where the people are full of joy, or working with someone who was full of joy, would it be strange? Are Christians known for a people who are full of Joy, despite difficult circumstances? Could anyone ever accuse us of being a person or people who are full of Joy? Have you ever heard of a Sunday school class, A Bible school, seminary or church where they had lessons on ‘how to be a joyful person?’ Yet, Jesus said He wanted His people to be a joyful people, “ I have told you these things so that you will be filled with My joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!”-{John 15:11}.

The word “Joy” –{Chara} is a feeling of inner gladness, delight,contentment, rejoicing.” It is  a deep seated feeling of happiness, delight, contentment, confidence, based on Eternal realities, such as God is Sovereign, God loves me, God is working all things together for my good in conforming me to the image of Christ. I am who He says I am. His promises are available to me. His blood continually cleanses me from all unrighteousness, God is for me, God is with me! The Truth of Scripture, “In Christ,” are mine. The deep seated contentment, delight that is based on eternal realities and gifted by God! God gifts us Joy, The Spirit of God makes it a reality and even when we are commanded to “rejoice” it is not we somehow work it up, manufacture it, but we  believe, rest, recall and delight in these eternal realities which are already ours and which we possess, “In Christ!”  This joy is based on a confidence that God has given us by His Spirit through His Word. An inner gladness of heart, a delight, anchored in His character, His promises, not dependent on ever changing circumstances, but on the Holy Spirit and confidence and contentment with God, complying to His Word.- {Read John 15:10-11}. Joy is supernatural, it is not humanly manufactured, but the work of the Spirit of God exclusive only to those who belong to the LORD Jesus!

The more you grow in your faith, the more you increase in your joy.

Suffering, intense trials and pressures cannot quench “Joy.” Indeed they can be a means to reveal your faith is genuine, the real deal and afford you the opportunity to grow… “…that the proof of your faithbeing more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,“{1 Peter 1:7-8}

“as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, “-{2 Cor 6:10}.

Jesus taught His disciples that “joy” is not dependent on favorable circumstances, but even in distressing circumstances and great pain, that even these cannot hinder Him from turning it into joy! Jesus imparts Joy that is greater than unfavorable and distressing circumstances! “Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy. 21 Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a  child has been born into the world. 22 Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.”-{John 16:20-22}

Joy and faith go hand in hand, how beautiful and wonderful, growing in your faith does not mean eliminating all difficulties, pain, sorrows, but growing is the potential for us not only in our FAITH but also INCREASING in our JOY!

  •  True Joy is based on truth, eternal promises and the Person of God, Eternal realities and it does include the emotions of happiness, as part of that  deep seated inner gladness of heart, which are founded and grounded on God and His eternal realities to and for us! Some would seek to remove emotions from the life of others altogether such as joy, delight, contentment, happiness of heart, because they have either been taught wrong or have no joy themselves and they don’t like to see others content, glad, satisfied, happy of heart with and in the LORD! It seems to be offensive to them! It reminds me of the story of the young man who came to know the LORD Jesus personally, and was so excited about forgiveness of all his sins and this new life with The LORD Jesus. It was near Halloween and as he entered a church building he saw two older men who were “greeters,” whose job was to “Greet” people as they entered the building. They never seemed to look happy as had been their countenance when he had observed them, so with a bit of fun, mischief, he asked if he could borrow their faces for Halloween! Probably not the best thing to say, but what he saw modeled was misery. And for some misery seems to equal “Godliness.” But this is not so!  Is the difference not on the focus, foundation and “joy” of what you are placing your trust in? Is that not the real issue!  There is a difference between  what the world calls “happiness” and the Christians’s “Joy.” Yes the world’s “happiness,” mood depends largely in circumstances, where the Christian’s joy is supernatural and exclusively imparted by God to His children, but it includes happiness in this deep seated contentment, delight of heart. Don’t remove the emotion from your definition of “Joy” as though Christ has!

Some people would have you believe that “Joy” does not include the emotion of “happiness” as “happy” has to do with “happenstance,” and can be changed based on circumstances, and though there is some truth in the fact they feel “unhappy” using the word “happy” when referring to being a Christian. They prefer to say “joy” which is not a bad thing, indeed it is a good thing, but if you just substitute the word and have the same outcome, what’s the difference?  For if we use the word “joy” instead, and base our “joy” on circumstances and so “joy” ends up being a “mood “that is dependent and dictated and controlled by favorable circumstances, what’s the difference? So in trying to dismiss and dispel any “happiness” associated with Christianity and instead try and elevate and be more “spiritual” in saying we do not believe in happiness but “joy,”  and are still responding and being controlled by favorable or unfavorable circumstances, are you not just playing with words? True joy is not emotionless or devoid of feeling!  Is the difference not on the focus, foundation and “joy” of what you are placing your trust in? Is that not the real issue!

True Joy is based on truth, eternal promises and the Person of God, Eternal realities, and it does include the emotions of happiness, delight, that deep seated inner gladness of heart, delight, enjoyment, confidence, contentment, which are founded and grounded on God and His eternal realities to and for us as revealed in His Word! Some would seek to remove emotions from the life of others such as joy, gladness, happiness of heart because they have either been taught wrong or have no joy themselves and they don’t like to see others content, glad, satisfied, delighting, happy of heart with and in the LORD!

But Paul, is not like that, he is committed to their progressing in their “joy in the faith!” He was in prison when he wrote to them, yet you will see him again and again speak of “joy” in this short book. If you want a good study, read Philippians and underline the words, “joy, rejoice” and see how he uses it, what gives him cause for joy and the things that cannot take his or the readers or our joy away….unless we give it away, by choice, succumbing to circumstances or people! Paul, when slandered by jealous people found reason to rejoice by choosing to, in the fact though they opposed him they were preaching the Gospel, so he rejoiced in that the Gospel was going forth! So read Philippians, 4 chapters and look at what Paul rejoiced, joyed in and what he would not circumstances and people he would not give his joy away to. Make a list. He rejoiced in the truth though he himself was being opposed. He overcame that obstacle by choosing to look for and find what was furthering the Gospel.

Some would have you believe that “commitment to Christ,” is devoid of joy and can instead  be mean and miserable in attitude and action, as if that is some “virtue,” as a picture of “true commitment!” Not so, true faith is accompanied and increases in Joy as faith increases! Joy is not self-manufactured, it is a gift from God-{John 15:11} and is what the Holy Spirit produces in a person’s life when that person is living in submission to the Holy Spirit and obedience to His Word. – {Read Gal 5:22-23; Col 3:16; John 15:10-11}

And Paul wanted to see the Believers growth in JOY IN the faith!

Paul was committed to their…Joy!

You will hear messages on “commitment,” and the need to be “committed to Christ,” and this is good, but when have you heard a message on being committed to the Joy of Christ in…others!! Think about it, most of us are committed to our own joy, not someone else’s! Ask yourself, “when have I ever been committed to someone else’s joy?” It sounds crazy, because it is so foreign to us, but not to our LORD Jesus. The Spirit of God, or to Paul, “…I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith.”

The word, “progress,” is also used in 1:12, and speaks of  advancing against obstacles, of facing continual resistance. Imagine walking into the entrance of a forest on  narrow pathway, and as you walk long you see the damage done by a recent storm that has knocked down large trees that have fallen cross the narrow path. In order for  the advancing army who will be coming behind you , as you  are in the “advanced party” to remove any obstacles, So, you will need to remove the large trees, cutting them and removing them so when the army of soldiers gets to where you are they need not slow down their pace, you have cleared the path for them. You have removed the obstacles and made a way for them to “advance!” So in the spiritual realm, there is opposition to your and others spiritual growth, such as  the “world system” with its temptations, resistance to the claims of the LORD Jesus, the flesh, and the devil, with his lies, half truths, accusations and temptations, oppose and fight against you going forward in developing and displaying your faith and joy in the faith, so they could progress, advance in the joy, delight, deep seated contentment of their faith!

The word “progress” was used of “wood-choppers” who went ahead of an army and they removed obstacles to make a path clear… as in an army that would follow and would not be slowed down or hindered by obstacles on the road, or path. It spoke of “Pioneers…blazing a trail!” So, it is against the background of opposition, difficulties that he was committed to them, not if “everything was going well” or if it was “convenient” or “advantageous” to him. He was committed to them for their sake! His goal and desire was their “progress,” advancing in the Joy of the faith.

The words “joy” and “faith” are connected grammatically so it is the “joy in the faith.” As you grow in faith, you grow in your joy. As you grow in your understanding of  the LORD and who you are “In Christ,” and His will, and ways which come through knowing His Word and the Holy Spirit empowering you to choose to live the Christian life, encouraged through His “precious and magnificent promises.”-{2 Peter 1:3-4}.  And Paul was committed to their trail blazing in joy in the faith!  There is opposition to spiritual growth, but you can grow, you will grow, by faith trusting Him and obeying Him… God has given us His Spirit, His Word, His people all who are spiritually gifted to aid us to grow in our “joy in the faith.”

Consider these verses…

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. “- {1 Corinthians 3:-6-7}

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.”- {Phil 2:13;}

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. “-  {2 Cor 3:18; }

“but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” – {2 Peter 3:18;}

As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving  by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”-{1 Peter 4:10-11}. 

And  He gave  some  as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,  for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;  ” -{Ephesians 4:11-12}.

“For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. “-{2 Corinthians 4:5}.

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make  us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work. “- {2 Timothy 3:16-17}.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” – {Romans 12:2 NLT}.

“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He {Jesus }explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.“-{Luke 24:27}.

“And now I commend you to God and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build you up ...”- {Acts 20:32}.

Paul was committed to helping their spiritual growth in their DEVOTION, DELIGHT and their DEPENDENCE in The  LORD Jesus…

God has given you spiritual gifts to invest in service to others “…so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.”-{Read 1 Peter 4:10-11}. You too can invest your life into others for their “Progress and joy of the faith.”   

I love the words, “remain” and “continue” which Paul uses in verse 25 of his commitment to them, the words mean, “to wait beside a person ever ready to help.”

How beautiful his heart, his commitment, his love for…others! I am here beside you, right here with you to help you… how beautiful, how Christlike! Paul had committed himself to their Progress of Joy in the faith – to their advancing in Joy filled faith!

But even should God take Paul from them, there is One who will never be taken from them or us, the Holy Spirit residing within ever ready to help in our development and DELIGHT in the Faith! How wonderful is the LORD!

As Paul was so must you and I choose to be … Go DO Likewise, I am here with you, alongside you, ever- ready to help you, “… I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith.”

Paul was deliberate when it came to the believers


Whose Joy are you committed to and how do you show it