Paul writes, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!’ Why did Paul repeat himself? Because joy is the fuel we run on, and unless we maintain it, we can run out. That means regularly checking your fuel gauge to make sure you’re not being sucked into negativity and doubt.
In the Bible, wine represents joy. In fact, Christ’s first miracle was turning water into wine—the best they had ever tasted. Jesus is a joy giver, and when you stay connected to Him, you experience His joy regardless of your circumstances. In John 15:11 NIV, He said, ‘I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.’ Think about this for a moment: how can you walk around saying your sins are forgiven, God guides and protects you, and you’re going to Heaven—but look like you have been baptised in pickle juice?
In prison, Paul had so much joy that his jailers were won to Christ and a church sprang up in the ‘household of Caesar’ (see Philippians 4:22). People are always more influenced by your attitude than your theology. Always! When they see you rejoicing in hard times, they’re apt to wonder what your secret is and to think, ‘Whatever that person has, I need it.’ They become more open and receptive to the truth.
The happiness this world offers is only a reaction to circumstances, whereas the joy that comes from living for Jesus lifts you above the circumstances. So, focus on His joy, draw on His joy, and demonstrate His joy to the world today.