Sunday July 9 2017

Discovering Joy Despite My Circumstances

Part 9: Realizing the Joy of Harmony


What disharmony looks like.


What harmony looks like.


Which brings joy to your life and why?


Philippians 4:1-5, p. 832

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!  I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.


Four exhortations (encouragement) for the joy of harmony


  1. Don’t be Defeated (Stand Victorious in Christ)
  • Followers of Christ were told not to march forward into battle, but were told to stand firm
  • In Paul’s letters, followers of Christ are not to be engaged in offensive warfare but to stand on the ground Jesus Christ has already taken from His decisive victory on the cross and resurrection.


Ephesians 6:13-14, p. 830

“Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand Stand firm then….” 


  1. Don’t be Divisive (Stand Victorious together in Christ)
  • Followers of Christ are to live in harmony with each other: “stand fast in one spirit, with one mind” (vs.27)
  • “Be of one accord, of one mind” (2:2); “Let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind” (3:16)
  • Followers of Christ are not to let even the smallest irritation in a church body to grow to major disunity.
  • Unity in Salvation (“names in the book of life”)
  • Unity in Spirit (spirit of servanthood and humility)
  • Unity in Service


  1. Don’t be Discouraged (Stand Victorious together with confidence in Christ)
  • “Rejoice” used 9 times, “joy” used 4 times, “rejoice with” 2 times
  • Happiness is the world’s cheap counterfeit of Christian joy, of happiness depends on circumstances whereas joy is rooted in Christ


  1. Don’t be Defensive (Stand Victorious together with confidence focused on Christ)
  • Paul is redirecting our focus away from ourselves and onto Jesus Christ (“The Lord is near”)
  • The Lord is at hand; big picture thinking verses our petty concerns

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