Re:Verse passage – Philippians 2:19-30 (day four)
Just because Paul wrote about having joy in all situations, does not mean he did not have strong feelings that caused him great grief. Verse 27 tells us that God spared Epaphroditus so Paul would not have sorrow upon sorrow. What was causing Paul’s sorrow that would have been double sorrow with the loss of his friend? Paul was in prison…he could not visit the people he loved and he could not spend time teaching them about living the Christian life. How could he have joy and sorrow at the same time?
Paul’s joy was not dependent upon the circumstances surrounding his life…imprisonment, separation from loved ones, etc. His joy was the result of his relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Nothing could change that relationship. Sorrow comes based on our circumstances. For Paul, it was his imprisonment, separation from loved ones, etc. Even though he had deep sorrow, he could have a sustaining joy in Christ.
Have you discovered the secret of true joy? Have you been distracted by your circumstances and allowed them to steal your joy? We see in verse 1 of chapter 3 what Paul admonishes…”rejoice in the Lord.”