When Paul was in prison he wrote a very happy letter to the Christians in Philippi. He used the word joy over and over. How did he manage to find joy in such a dark place? Was he some sort of plaster saint, immune to human misery? He was not. He found joy, I believe, because he was always looking for it. Many people are always looking for misery, and it is not hard to find. When they’ve found it, they tell everybody about it—much more about it than anybody wants to know. Others are continually looking for joy. This is not the same thing as pursuing happiness, which depends on happenings. Joy depends on Christ living in us, and being allowed to make us joyful. This can happen in the worst of earthly circumstances. From prison Paul wrote, “I wish you all joy in the Lord. I will say it again, all joy be yours” (Phil 4:4). Look for joy in God and you’ll find it.
**Excerpt originally published in Guided by God’s Promises, p. 71.