ADVENT BIBLE STUDY
Week 4: JOY
Day 2: A Blueprint for Joy
4 Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I will say, “Rejoice!” 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report: if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, think about these things. 9 The things which you learned, received, heard, and saw in me: do these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Philipians 4:4-9 (WEB)
Throughout the year, but especially during the season of Christmas, there will be many from inside and outside the church who will ask or wonder, “Where does our Peace and Joy come from?” How can we be so hopeful in the future? How can we smile and laugh while the world around us seems to be in shambles? Over the past weeks, we immersed ourselves in Faith, Hope and Love and today’s verse builds out a blueprint on these gifts so we can smile, and confidently rejoice saying “I am joyful because I have the peace of God!”
It is all great to say we have peace but how are we supposed to reach such inner tranquility? There are a few specifics that Paul directs our attention to.
The first piece for Peace is confidence in our prayers and petitions. Are we confident that God hears us whether or not we see the answers to our prayers manifested? If a prayer is answered, do we accept the answer even if it is not what we expected? Sometimes He postpones an answer so we can learn to trust and rely on Him more deeply. Understanding that the purpose of whatever happens is to bring us closer to Him will introduce Peace and Joy into our seemingly chaotic lives.
The second piece for Peace is our actions. Do we live our lives in a way that brings harmony to everyone around us or do we sow discord on purpose or through being inattentive to the needs of others? In verse 8, Paul lists all the criteria that we should strive for to bring harmony to all our actions: Truth, Honor, Justice, Purity and Good Will. We know how our actions can upset Peace and ruin Joy so we must act in a way to foster Peace and Joy in our social sphere.
When we fit both of these pieces together then, as verse 7 says, no matter what comes along, we will be able to find personal Peace and Joy in surrendering our wants and needs to God in prayer and be surrounded by those we shared our Peace and Joy with to help us through. True Peace that surpasses all understanding is a wonderful gift to come away from Advent with and will allow us to embrace the Joy of the birth of our Savior with greater focus and love.
ABOUT EVERY MAN A WARRIOR
Every Man A Warrior is a discipleship Bible study that “Helps Men Succeed in Life". It helps them win the battles they fight every day. Since 2011, 50,000 men in 40 countries and in 18 languages have been impacted by the Every Man A Warrior curriculum. The Every Man A Warrior ministry joined Trans World Radio (TWR) in 2017 in order to take discipleship around the world. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT EMAW and learn about how you can implement this training series in your men’s group.