Philippians 1:25, 26
Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. And when I come to you again, you will have even more reason to take pride in Christ Jesus because of what he is doing through me.
As found in the verses before verse 25, Paul said he knew that it was better that he live so that he could continue to nurture the churches like the Philippian church. Now, he says he is convinced that he will not only stay alive but be a help to them for two reasons: to help them to grow spiritually and to experience the joy of their faith. Progress is always so important, gaining ground.
Then, the second reason he gave is especially interesting. I wonder why we even try to gain ground and grow in faith if we do not know and feel the joy of Jesus during the process. I think our joyless hours come from forgetting what it is we have because of Jesus. Paul thought this joy was so important that making sure his church family had that joy was the second of his reasons for living. He wanted to attract them to Jesus.
We need to remember these two goals when sharing Jesus with others because it is not enough to merely help them grow in their faith. We must be burdened that they have joy in their journey. This joy is what Jesus wanted us all to have along with His love:
”When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you” (John 15:10-12 NLT).
If Eve had latched on to this faith and joy, the days experiencing the results of her sin would have been so much easier to bear. She would have had something real to give to her children to inspire them to live by faith and enter into the joy that comes from God, their Creator.
Jesus mother had faith and I think she found that joy in her daily life. Certainly, living with Jesus she saw these two principles working together in His simple faith and joy. This faith and joy must have helped her through the sorrows and pain that came in her life.
Dear Lord, please help your faith and joy to be at work in my life so that others will be attracted to you and the life you want them to have. Please forgive me for not seeking faith and joy more earnestly so that others could plainly see them. May I today be a blessing that draws others to you and your joy and heart of love. I can pray this because of Jesus! Amen.