I've entitled this series in the book of Philippians, The Life of Joy. And tonight we come to a verse at the heart of this theme, so I've entitled this sermon Choosing the Life of Joy.
Now maybe you're thinking, "Well, that's silly. Why would you have to convince us to choose the life of joy? Isn't everyone, if given a choice, going to choose a life of joy?"
And you're right. People want joy. God created us to want joy. We are hardwired to experience joy.
The problem is that we settle for happiness. And happiness is based on what happens and so it's very temporary. Like the weather here in Indiana. One minute it's beautiful. The next minute it's horrible.
And if your happiness is based on something that fickle, your mood is going to swing back and forth like a pendulum.
But joy is transcendent. Joy is grounded in something far greater and deeper than circumstances.
There's something very sad about a culture that's so obsessed with finding the joy they were made for, but that's looking in all the wrong places.
And this is why as Christians, when the world looks at us, they should not see a bunch of long, depressed faces. Church is not a place of somberness and deadness.
The Christian life is a fountain of joy. Jesus Christ is the only place where we find that true, everlasting joy-that everyone is looking for.
In fact in our text this evening we are commanded to choose joy.