The Apostle Paul reminds us that joy is at the center of the Christian's life. We are Easter people. Christ has defeated death. God has vanquished Satan. Easter has conquered Good Friday. That means we are people of joy. That is how Saint Paul, writing from a Roman prison, a difficult circumstance that would cause most people to lose hope, writes to the Christians in the church in Philippi, "REJOICE in the Lord always. I shall say it again: REJOICE!" (Philippians 4:4) Roman prisons were dark, dank places of death. Most prisoners died there. Yet, Paul found joy in his imprisonment.
In fact, in a letter from prison to
the Philippians, rather than writing of his suffering and worries, Paul
mentions his "joy in Christ" more than twelve times in just four
chapters. That is worth hearing: Even in the most difficult times in your life,
you can rely upon the deep, abiding joy that comes from Jesus Christ. The world
and your circumstances may press in and seek to crush you, but a relationship
with Jesus will grow a joy in you that cannot be squelched.
-- Allen R. Hunt in Nine