ES/PHIL/19 Philippians 3:1
the little boy whispered to his father, “What does the preacher mean when he says ‘finally’?” To which his father muttered, “Absolutely nothing, son.”
John Wesley exuded his joy in the Lord on a three-week preaching mission with Rev. John Nelson during which the two slept on the hard floor with no padding. Wesley used Nelson’s coat for a pillow, and Nelson used Burkitt’s notes on the New Testament for his. As Nelson relates it, “One morning about three o’clock Mr. Wesley turned over, and, finding me awake, clapped me on the side saying: ‘Brother Nelson, let us be of good cheer: I have one whole side yet, for the skin is off but one side!’ ”
Matthew Henry, the Puritan expositor, wrote, “The joy of the Lord will arm us against the assaults of our spiritual enemies and put our mouths out of taste for those pleasures with which the tempter baits his hooks.”5 The joy of the Lord is a divine armament. Those living in his joy are resistant to attacks that take others down. Resiliency marks their steps. The taste of joy renders the tempter’s offerings bland by comparison.
Choosing to go on the offensive by rejoicing in the midst of hardship is the single greatest defense from the things that make us turn away from God
By making the choice to rejoice in the Lord in the midst of unpleasant circumstances, we will guard ourselves against fear, doubt, double-mindedness, and the discouragement that comes from opposition. All of these things are barometers for our heart attitude. As we see these things creeping in and manifesting themselves, we know that our focus is shifting away from God and onto other things. I cannot complain about something and simultaneously be thankful for it.