Lesson 8, Digging Deeper 1
In Progress

Stay Joyful by Chris Moran


We will have unhappy days. We will have days when nothing seems to go right. We will have problems we don’t exactly know how to fix. The tire will be flat. The battery will be dead. The water pipe will burst. The payment will be late. We will lose someone or something we love.

But we can remain joyful even though these unwanted circumstances by knowing these kinds of things only disturb our physical reality. When things like this happen, we can still smile in our hearts even when our mouths don’t participate. Christians understand that the presence of these problems can’t take away the promise of God that at the end of our faith, at the end of our struggles, awaits the salvation of our soul (1 Peter 1:9).

We don’t ignore the unhappy circumstances and just hope they go away. We pray to God to help us deal with them, and then we deal with them. But throughout that process, we can remain joyful by looking beyond the trouble.


Paul tells us in Philippians 4:4, Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! It would be easy to picture Paul penning these words in a setting of ease and comfort. But, when he tells us to rejoice in the Lord always, he wasn’t sitting in a recliner with his feet up, sipping on an ice-cold sweet tea, and watching a ball game. Paul penned these words while being held as a prisoner in a rotten, dirty, cold, damp, prison cell for preaching Jesus as the Christ. He wrote these words while anticipating a trial that would possibly determine the remaining time he had left on this earth.

Some may think Paul must have lost his mind before writing these words because there is no way that anyone in prison facing a life or death trial could rejoice! Well, Paul was not out of his mind. He knew exactly what he was thinking and writing. He knew the source of his joy and his cause of rejoicing wasn’t found in his immediate situation. Rather, it was found in the hope God established in Jesus Christ.


Paul writes in Philippians 1:23-26. “For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless, to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.”

Paul was confident in his faith. He knew that his physical death and departure from this earth only meant being united in life with Christ (Philippians 1:21). This gave him joy that no sickness, trial, tribulation, problem, trouble, struggle, prison cell, or unwanted circumstance could take away. His joy was hidden in Christ Jesus (Colossians 3:1-4).