We all want to be happy. In fact, we all spend a significant amount of time in pursuit of things that make us feel happy. If we were given a choice everyday on whether to feel happiness or not, most of it would without thinking choose happiness. But it doesn’t take long to realize that the brokenness of our world and the brokenness inside of us is at odds with our quest for happiness and at times, the storms of life make it close to impossible to find happiness. In the first week of our series, we take a look at the difference between experiencing joy and happiness and give you three truths that can create the conditions for experiencing joy in your life no matter what the circumstances that surround you.



We all want the same thing – to be happy.


Happiness = reaction to external circumstances

  • If things go well, I’m happy
  • Christmas is a complicated Holiday with unrealistic expectations and proximity to stress-inducing relationships making happiness incredibly difficult.


Joy = reaction to the internal conditions

  • Regardless of how things go, I can find joy.


Paul writes Philippians from prison, less than two years before he’s beheaded. He’s lived a long, complicated life with plenty of highs and lows.


  • Throughout his life he was able to remain centered, peaceful, content, and almost happy.
  • He writes this last church letter to his favorite church giving them the secrets for joy in a broken world.


Three Truths That Create The Conditions For Joy In A Broken World.


  1. Paul belonged to someone else. (Phil 1:1-2)
  2. God begins something in those who belong to Him (Phil 1:6, 1 Cor 5:17)
  3. God uses everything for something better. (1 Tim 1:16, Rom 8:28)


What Is It That God Is Trying To Do?

Phil 1:9-11


What really matter?

  • That we love more and more
  • Grow in what we know
  • Live with understanding


Paul gives two thieves of joy in this life.

  1. Jealousy/Rivalry – comparing myself to others.
  2. Stuff people do



If you are a follower of God, you have three advantages.

  1. You have Jesus
  2. You have suffering
  3. You have company