This week we continue our Secret of Happiness series. We’ve already looked at having joy in our circumstances, trials, and purpose. Now we will investigate the only true source of joy.

Read Philippians 3.1–14.

In his letter to the church in Philippi, Paul continually instructs them to rejoice. However, this is the first time Paul addresses the source of their rejoicing by saying, “in the Lord.” Jesus is the only source of true joy. Anytime we expect something or someone else to bring joy, in the end it only ends up bringing disappointment. But even once we understand that joy is found in Jesus alone, there are still a couple of questions we must answer:

How do we connect to Jesus’ joy?

First, Paul shows us that we cannot find joy in our own accomplishments. Our standing with God and our joy in Him comes only through Jesus’ gift of grace. Nothing we do will allow us to earn joy.

How do we stay connected to Jesus’ joy?

Once we have found our joy in Jesus, we can actively remain in it in the following ways:

  1. Stay focused on Him. Too often we want to reflect on the things of the past—both good and bad—rather than keeping our eyes straight ahead on what Jesus has for us in the present. Regularly reading our Bible and seeking God in prayer will help us stay focused.
  2. Ask God to remove obstacles that can take our focus off Him. There will be roadblocks in our paths that will tempt us to take our focus off of God. Rather than becoming obsessed with the obstacles, we can ask God to remove the obstacles or walk alongside us as we overcome them.
  3. Surround ourselves with others who will support us in our pursuit of Jesus joy. When all we hear are our own thoughts and opinions, we can get distracted from God’s picture for our future. Having others who can speak into our lives will help keep us focused.

Discussion Questions

  1. What is something that you think having would bring you joy?
  2. What can you “boast” about from your past? What do you want to hide?
  3. What are you presently doing to stay connected to Jesus-based joy?
  4. What is God doing in or through your life presently?
  5. Who in your life is helping support your Jesus-based joy?