It doesn’t take long to realize that Paul thinks differently than most people I know. He writes from prison, but is rejoicing. (1:12-13) He is looking at the end of his life, but is rejoicing. (1:21) He is remembering hard times, but is rejoicing. (1:19) What’s this guy on? I want some!
Joy is one of the central themes of this prison letter. It strikes me as a counter-cultural perspective on life. His ability to rejoice in the face of prison and even his own death show me that he’s got something that I want to have. He does not let the circumstances in which he finds himself dictate his attitude. He doesn’t let the problems of life get in the way of his celebration. Instead of complaining and grumbling he rejoices in Jesus. There is no sugar coating going on here. Paul is not looking for the bright side of things. Instead, he rejoices in the grace and peace that he has in knowing Jesus.
Read through Philippians 1, and ask God to help you find that same kind of Grace and peace in Jesus so that in the face of life’s greatest challenges you can also see JOY.