Is True Joy Possible? 3 Principles of Finding Joy in Chaos

  Most people stumble around in a constant state of confusion.  Filled with fears, insecurities, and worry over the mundane to the magnificent.  What the Church, that’s you me must demonstrate to this chaotic and crumbling world is a genuine joy.  Most folks, including Christians, attempt to satisfy themselves with occasional bursts of joy that don’t’ last built off of some artificial high.  Paul totally understood this problem, he groped around in the dark stumbling about until that amazing day when he met Christ on the road to Damascus.  From that day forward, and even though he suffered a lot, he rarely let the darkening fog of discouragement cloud his mind or drive out his joy.  Friend, you can experience this same never ceasing joy in Christ that Paul did.  
In Paul’s letter to the Church at Philippi is dripping with joy on every page and it’s proof positive, that joy is more than an elusive dream.  Joy was part of his DNA.  How could that be?  It’s because he was confident that God Almighty was at work, that God the Creator of the Universe was in complete control, and that God, the one we live and move and have our being allowed all things to occur in his life for one ultimate purpose---His glory!
Paul understood that joy doesn’t depend on what’s happening, or what we have, or who’s in our life or not in our lives.  Joy is an attitude of the heart determined by confidence in God.  Real, genuine joy is a byproduct of having a strong and intimate relationship with Christ.  To truly know Christ is to truly have joy.  

3 Principles to Finding Joy in Chaos

  1. I will find joy in chaos when I focus on the things for which I’m thankful.

Paul could have looked back ten years in Philippi and recalled the demon possessed woman upsetting his preaching.  He could have remembered his arrest and beatings,  He could have dwelled on his imprisonment and being kicked out of the city.  But not Paul, he’s nobodies victim.  He doesn’t dwell on his past.  He recalls the positives about the Philippians:  their conversion, their faithfulness, their growth and participation in the gospel, and their continued perseverance.  My friends, the only way to kill the victimhood mentality of our culture is to replace it with gratefulness.  You can begin to practice an attitude of gratefulness by starting your day by writing down 3 things you are grateful.  Will you start today?

  1. I will find joy in chaos when I let God be in charge.

Paul had every confidence that the work Christ had begun in the past among the Philippians, Jesus would bring to completion in the future.  This meant God would continue to work in the present.  Let me make this personal.  

When I stop trying to play God in my own life and instead let Him accomplish my spiritual growth in His own way, I’ll look differently at the circumstances that beat me along the way.  There was a day not that long ago, I had a little pity party in my home study.  This Covid had really messed up my plans for our church, my family and me.  I was just woah is me, poor little Chris, Nobody loves me, everybody hates me / Think I'll go and eat worms   This isn’t what I wanted Lord.  It was a few days later, the Spirit of God, in that still small voice spoke to me through the scriptures.  I’m God, I know what you need.  Trust me.  And, I’d like to say, it’s been all peaches and cream since that day.  It hasn’t, I’ve still wrestled with it, but my joy has been complete.

And while I’m at it, I need to stop trying to play God in the lives of others through worry, anxiety, manipulation you name it.  Nothing zaps joy faster than when you are trying to make things happen on God’s behalf in the life of another and they don’t cooperate.  Can I get an amen!

What we need to do is pray with confidence in every circumstance that comes our way, and thank God for His Word and promises that will guide us through it.

  1. I will find joy when I keep love within its proper limits.

Those limits as I mentioned are knowledge and discernment.  How?  Ask two questions:
  • Who should I direct my love?
  • How can I best express that love?
I’ve learned that loving my boys doesn’t mean giving them everything they want.  In fact, it often means giving them what they don’t’ want.  The same is true for our spouses, friends, colleagues and neighbors.  But that takes knowledge-intimate knowledge of the person and their strengths and weaknesses, needs and desires.  It also takes discernment-how?  When?  And Where?  To meet those real needs.  How are you doing today?  Are you beat up, emotional, worn out and sucked dry of joy?  Do you need the joy and healing only Christ can provide?

If you need joy, start with the daily gratitude challenge, let God be in charge.  If He brought you to it, He will see you through it.  Let Him take your mess and make it your message.  Release yourself from throne and let Jesus be the King.  And love.
Joy is an attitude of the heart determined by confidence in God.

My joy is proportionate to the confidence I have in my relationship with Christ.  Spiritual disciplines of Bible reading, prayer and service.  To know Christ is to know joy.  He is the path of real, genuine joy.
Pastor Chris Williams
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