I just finished reading through the book of Philippians in my quiet times. About a month ago, I thought I wanted to start reading Isaiah again. After making it through about the first 2 chapters, although all scripture is divinely inspired and profitable, I was not experiencing joy from reading. Almost instantly, God directed me to Philippians. The overarching theme of Philippians is joy. Paul encourages the believers in Philippi to fight for joy and even tells them that his joy is full because of them. The joy they experience is in their salvation, that once they were not a people, but now were God’s people, and have recieved the mercy in Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 2:10).
The salvation of mankind is a miracle that only the divine could accomplish. Our biggest dilemma has been solved. There was a time when man was completely cut off from God and could not experience His presence and His love. Our sin separated us from Him and we were doomed to spend eternity away from the light of the LORD. But the good news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is the promise of a new life here on earth and in heaven! “There is, therefore, no comdemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). We are free from the sentence of the Law and all its guilt and shame. We have the righteousness of Christ as our robe and continue to be shaped into His likeness everyday until we see Him face to face. This should be grounds for rejoicing! God loved us enough to kill His own son and send Him to hell in our place. Christ, as our substitute, bore the punishment for our sins that would have brough untold condemnation upon us.
Paul makes it very clear that we should find great joy in our salvation. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Phil. 4:4). Though the toils of life threaten to steal our joy and toss us down to depression and bitterness, we have a high priest who is eager to fill us with joy, peace, love, and mercy from the well of living water that never dries. May we all seek the joy that is in Christ Jesus and remember the love that He has for us and persevere until the final day when we see His glorious face and our pains cease and worship the Lamb Who Was Slain forever!