Summary: Unlike happiness, joy is not an emotion that is dependent upon circumstances. Joy is deeper and more durable than happiness because it is a resilient rejoicing rooted in the comforting presence of the One who has overcome all things.
Big Idea: Making a practice of trusting in Jesus results in contentment, peace and joy.
Ice-breaker question: Think of a time when you experienced great joy. What was the cause of your joy?
Background: Paul is writing to the church in Philippi, a city that was a Roman colony. Its inhabitants, many of whom were retired Roman soldiers, were citizens of Rome. Far from any Jewish culture or influence, the city was thoroughly pagan. There was no Jewish synagogue here and Paul does not use any Old Testament quotations in this letter.
Read: Philippians 4:4-13
- Instead of being anxious and worried, what does Paul call his readers to do?
- In your own words, how would you define prayer?
- How does praying to God remove our worries and replace them with peace?
- In verse 7, Paul wrote, “…the peace of God, …will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” The word picture here is of a soldier guarding something important. How does peace from God guard our hearts and minds?
- What difference does it make in our lives if we think of pure and good things rather than impure and bad things? What will result from continually doing the latter?
- What are some possible reasons why it would be important for the Philippian Christians to put into practice whatever they have learned from Paul or observed in him?
- Describe one thing that you learned from someone else and put into practice and it greatly benefited you in your faith life.
- What is Paul’s secret of being content in all situations?
- Who is strengthening Paul in all situations?
- What are some things that you can practice doing to help you have more contentment, peace and joy?
This Bible Study focuses on the same passage as the sermon on Oct 14/18 from Walnut Grove Lutheran Church, Langley BC.