“While other worldviews lead us to sit in the midst of life’s joys, foreseeing the coming sorrows, Christianity empowers its people to sit in the midst of this world’s sorrows, tasting the coming joy.” ― Timothy Keller, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering “What was the joy set before Jesus that enabled him to endure the cross? It was redemption, it was resurrection, it was reunion with his Father.” ― Nancy Guthrie “The truest, purest joy flows from a discovery of Jesus Christ. He is the hidden treasure that gives such joy to the finder (Matt. 13:44).” ― Robert Murray Mc’Cheyne, Letters to a Soul Seeking Christ “The world looks for happiness through self-assertion. The Christian knows that joy is found in self-abandonment. ‘If a man will let himself be lost for My sake,’ Jesus said, ‘he will find his true self.’” ― Elizabeth Elliot
“The bedrock of our rejoicing isn’t the goodness of our day, but the goodness of our God.” ― Melissa B. Kruger, In All Things: A Nine-Week Devotional Bible Study on Unshakeable Joy “Real joy looks up to God and beyond to eternity, resting in the certainty of his power and his plan, even though things at the moment may be confounding and hard.” ― Paul Tripp “Our sorrow prepares us to experience a more satisfying and solid joy than we’ve ever known before. When joy surfaces, it allows us to see that deep beneath the chaos and catastrophe is the strong current of confidence that we can be content in the sovereign hands of God.” ― Nancy Guthrie, The 1 Year Book of Hope “Hearts on earth may say in the course of a joyful experience, “I don’t want this ever to end.” But invariably it does. The hearts of those in heaven say, “I want this to go on forever.” And it will. There is no better news than this.” ― J. I. Packer “The best news in the world is that there is no conflict between your greatest possible happiness and God’s perfect holiness. Being satisfied with all that God is for you in Jesus magnifies him as the greatest treasure and brings you more joy―eternal, infinite joy―than any other delight ever could.” ― John Piper, For Your Joy “We were mad to know fullness of joy by nearness to God as he leads, directs, and satisfies with his presence (Psalm 16:11).” ― Ruth Chou Simons
The book of Philippians is ultimately about JOY, but this can look different in various seasons and situations. Is joy only possible when life is happy? How can we be joyful when following Jesus is tough, or when standing up for Him leads to suffering?
This year, delegates will be invited to consider these questions as they investigate the life of the Apostle Paul—a man who suffered much, was persecuted and imprisoned for his faith in Jesus, and yet he considered it “pure joy” because he knew he was being who God had called him to be.
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