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Webster’s defines joy as “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.” … Similarly, John Piper writes, “Christian joy is a good feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as he causes us to see the beauty of Christ in the word and in the world.”
Philippians 1:6 ” And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.
- How would you define joy in your life? What brings you joy?
- Besides members of your family, for whom are you most thankful? Why?
Start thinking and sharing. Ask a question to get your group thinking, to create openness.
- Who wrote the letter to the Philippians (Philippians 1:1)? Where was he when he wrote it (Philippians 1:7 & 13)? What were ALL the reasons he was thankful and experiencing joy (Philippians 1:3-8)?
- Discuss Troy’s statement, “Unless you learn contentment and joy in your present circumstances there’s a good chance you’ll never learn it.”
- Think a bit before you share your answer with your group. In whom or what “mirages” are you currently placing your confidence?
- Reread Read Philippians 1:6. In whom should we be confident? Who is doing the work? When will He be done?
- Discuss John MacArthur’s definition of biblical joy: “The settled conviction that God sovereignly controls the events of life for believers’ good and His glory. And is available to all who obey Him.”
- Reread Phil. 1:7-8. Do Paul’s circumstances affect his deep feelings for those who share in God’s grace with him? Do they affect his joy?
- How do your circumstances, both good and bad, affect your feelings toward those who are partners in the gospel? Share examples where difficult circumstances brought people together and deepened their bond of love for one another. Read and discuss James 1:2-4.
- How do you think Paul would write if he were writing about Generations and your small group? Would he be able to thank us for our partnership in the gospel? Why or why not?
- Read Philippians 1:9-11. What brings glory and praise to God?
Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.
- Commit to reading the Book of Philippians (highlight the words joy and rejoice) and make it a priority to join with Generations in our study through Philippians for the next 6 weeks.
- Take Troy’s challenge and journal about your pursuit of joy. Be prepared to share at group next week.
Start praying. Be bold and pray with power.
- Read Philippians 1:9-11. Pray for God to reveal to your small group and GC how we can pursue joy through Jesus. Pray that we can love, serve, and encourage those around and that all the glory will be given to HIM.
Start digging. For further study.