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Updated: Mar 31, 2020

Philippians 4:1 says “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say rejoice.” Certainly, if you read the book of Philippians, you will see that the theme of the book is joy. What is amazing about this theme is that Paul is in prison as he writes this letter. Can you imagine being joyful while in jail. Or today, can you imagine being joyful while in the middle of a quarantine?

If the answer in no you may be confusing joy with happiness, which people often do? We are happy when our circumstances are going well. Joy however comes from our walk with God. It is listed as one of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23.

One of the great hymns of the faith is “It is Well with my soul.” Read below from Wikipedia the context of this hymn:

This hymn was written after traumatic events in Horatio Spafford's life. The first two were the death of his four-year-old son and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer and had invested significantly in property in the area of Chicago that was extensively damaged by the great fire). His business interests were further hit by the economic downturn of 1873, at which time he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre. In a late change of plan, he sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sea vessel, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford's daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, "Saved alone …". Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died. Bliss called his tune Ville du Havre, from the name of the stricken vessel.

What a great definition of what defines joy. With the loss of his children, he could not be happy. Because of his relationship with God, he was able to have joy. Seek God and ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Then you will have the joy to make it through these difficult times. - Tom Firasek

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