THE REJOICING APOSTLE
My brethren, rejoice in the Lord. [PHILIPPIANS 3:1]
The apostle Paul’s joy was unrelated to his circumstances. If it had been tied to pleasures on earth, possessions, freedom, prestige, outward success, or a good reputation, he wouldn’t have had any joy.
Paul’s joy was centered on his ministry and was indifferent toward all other things. That’s why he could tell the Philippians, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you with all joy” (Phil. 1:3–4). He had joy in spite of trouble, as long as Christ’s cause was advanced. He had joy in spite of detractors, as long as Christ’s name was proclaimed. He had joy in spite of death, as long as Christ was exalted. And he had joy in spite of the flesh, as long as Christ’s church was assisted.