Friday, February 4, 2022
Our final thought on joy in Philippians is this – great joy results in generous giving which results in greater joy.
Philippians 4:10 “I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me.”
Paul says that he rejoices greatly because of the way the people of the church in Philippi gave generously to meet his needs. He even describes the gifts as a fragrant offering and an acceptable sacrifice that is pleasing to God. Look at how Paul describes the nature of their gift in 2 Corinthians 8. “Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.”
These people gave even when everything in them told them not to. They were poor. They had trouble paying their bills. They had needs of their own; but their joy in the Lord looked beyond their own needs and followed the sacrificial pattern of their Savior and they gave, and gave, and gave some more. They were super-generous, and it touched Paul deeply and filled him with joy.
My friends, if you are not experiencing great joy in your walk with the Lord, maybe it’s because you haven’t sacrificed enough. Maybe it’s because there is too much trust in your own power to provide for yourself, and not enough trust in the provision of God. There is not much joy in knowing what we can do: there is great joy in watching what God can do. Maybe we aren’t giving Him a chance to do great things.
How often do we look forward to being asked to give because we know it will result in joy? When we give our resources to the Lord’s work He fills us with joy. There is great joy in knowing the grand and glorious work of God was accomplished through personal sacrifice. That’s what gave Jesus the strength to endure the cross – the joy that was set before Him (Hebrews 12:2). Whatever sacrifice is necessary, keep your eyes fixed on the fullness of the joy that will be yours when you do it for God’s glory.
The joy of knowing Jesus combines with whatever financial means we have or do not have and causes a spirit of generosity to flourish, which produces more and greater joy. Become a part of the cycle. Joy produces generosity which produces more joy.