Where Does Your Joy Come From?
In our lives there is an interesting relationship between happiness and place. Many people pay a lot of money to live in a place that they think will make them happy. But here’s the thing, the happy life or, in our case, the meaningful life is rooted where you are spiritually and not where you are geographically.
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul says that he is writing to the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi (Philippians 1:1). In other words, they are in Philippi geographically, but they are not buying into the mindset and not buying into a culture where wealth, honor and status are the marks of one’s identity and happiness. Rather, the saints are in Christ Jesus. What matters to them, what brings them joy and meaning is whose they are and where they are spiritually.
You see, there is no place, no circumstance, no external situation (money, health, beauty) that can bring lasting happiness. The location that really matters is your spiritual location and that you are in Christ Jesus.
What does that mean? That means Jesus is it for me. Jesus is with me. Jesus is in me. Jesus is by me. Jesus is for me no matter what. Jesus is always working through me. He's always standing beside me. He's always going before me. He's always watching over me. He has my back. He's in my heart. He's at my side. He's in my corner. I may be in trouble, in debt, in prison, in suffering, in a hospital bed, but if I'm in Christ Jesus, I am good to go!
That's the good news of the gospel, and Paul says if your spiritual location is in Christ Jesus, your geographical location can be any place on earth, and your ultimate well-being is not at risk. Not at all! "Rejoice." He says, "Rejoice in the Lord" (Philippians 4:4). Rejoice because Jesus our Lord is the great joy bringer.
So, what are you rejoicing in? Is it in a place or is it in the One who makes your joy complete?
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9