In Philippians, Paul has such crazy joy he can’t keep it in either. At one point he writes:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (4:4)
What was Paul’s joyful circumstance when he wrote this letter? A special award? A special time with family? Warmth and comfort? None of these. Paul was in prison and some of his own 'Christian' brothers were making things worse for him (1:13,17).
Paul’s whole life was characterized by serious trials (2 Corinthians 11:23-33), but he was consistently joyful in Christ.
Philippians is a great book to read. Why not underline "joy,” "rejoice," and "glad" next time you read it. You'll gain new insights about the meaning of joy.
Isn't it just like God to have such a joyful book written from a prison cell?
copyright, Gail Burton Purath, 2011