So, quite a bit lately I have been getting asked how it is that I can stay happy when bad things happen....how is it that I don't let these situations overtake me. I have tried to explain that I put my trust in Jesus, He is a great provider and I trust that this will never change. But this afternoon my new study bible was delivered, and as I was thumbing through it I stopped in Philippians. I began to read the description page and there it was!
"In contrast to happiness stands joy. Running deeper and stronger, joy is the quiet, confident assurance of God's love and work in our lives--that He will be there no matter what! Happiness depends on happenings, but joy depends on Christ."
Now, who better than Paul to exemplify this?! Here stood a man condemned and confined for his faith in and service to Jesus; yet he was joyful! Listen to this--Philippians 3:8-10 "What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in his death,"
Wow!! No matter his accomplishments, his relationship with Christ was the most important thing! The law condemned him...his faith in Jesus Christ redeemed him! Paul was joyful despite his confinement! Doesn't say he was happy...it is saying he was joyful.....he was righteous!
I am righteous, you are righteous because Christ Jesus gave His life and blood to cover our sin! Hear that?! WE ARE RIGHTEOUS NOT BY ANTHING WE HAVE DONE OR WILL EVER DO....WE ARE RIGHTEOUS BECAUSE OF WHAT JESUS DID FOR US ON THE CROSS! Well, how then can I not be joyful! No matter my situation, Christ has it covered...again, no matter the situation, I am covered by grace! I am righteous! How can I not be joyful!? Don't have to be happy about the situation, but I know that my God has me and He is a great provider, I will get what I need.
Philippians 2:13 says "for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." He works IN us....because He dwells IN us....we have the power of the Holy Spirit within our shell!!! We don't have to go searching for Him, He is right there! He is right there!
Anyway....that is my explanation. I could keep going, but long and short of it is that the power of Jesus Christ is in me....I am covered by His grace....He fills me with joy....nothing can compare to that, nothing can take that away.....no matter the circumstance He is in me and who could ask for anything more?