The apostle Paul suffered various trials and hardships for the cause of Christ.
Yet in the midst of his troubles, Paul had joy. Paul had made Christ his life.
He had a "mindset " of submission to Christ.
Like Paul, we too can have joy despite our circumstances. If we have made
Jesus the Lord of our lives and fully submitted ourselves to Him, we WILL
experience joy whatever we go through.
When Paul was imprisoned in Rome, he wrote the book of Phillippians,
which is full of joy. He says in Phillippians chapter one that the things
that had happened to him had served to further the gospel. Many had
become bold to speak the Word, and Paul rejoiced that Christ was being
In Chapter two, he speaks of Christ being his joy, and the joy of salvation.
In chapter three he speaks of joy in Christ's righteousness, and joy in doing
the Lord's will. In chapter four he speaks of joy in Christ's strength and joy in
His provision. Even while in prison Paul had JOY, because he had made
Christ his LIFE, his goal.
We must be "single-minded" like Paul in our pursuit of Christ. If we are
to know the fellowship of His sufferings, we must be willing to suffer
for the cause of the gospel.
1 Peter 4:12-13
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try
(test) you, as though some strange thing happened unto you. But
rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings, that, when
His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad with exceeding joy.
It does not matter what we are "imprisoned" with: actual prison, bodily
illness, bad marriage, rebellious children, or other things, we can still
have joy...IF we have made Christ our LIFE.
JOY...IN SPITE OF!