Christian Joy not Dependent Upon Outward Circumstances
Philippians 1:4
Always in every prayer of my for you all making request with joy,…


1. The outward circumstances of St. Paul's life, at the time of his writing this Epistle, were singularly joyless. A prisoner in Rome, awaiting his trial, deprived of the power of freely preaching the gospel when and where he would, compelled to be in the society of his Roman guard night and day.

2. Notwithstanding these untoward conditions he is inwardly full of joy. The key-note of the Epistle is rejoice.

3. The joy which fills him is not merely a selfish joy at his own acceptance with God; it is a sympathetic joy which rejoices in the growth of God's kingdom. This is the joy of the angels. This is the joy of Jesus himself. This is the joy which he promises to bestow upon his disciples, (John 15:11; John 17:13). This is the joy of the Lord into which they who have used well the talents entrusted to them are to enter. This joy is not mere selfish exultation in our own rescue from the pains of hell, but a sense of bliss at the victory which God has won, and a joy at being permitted to minister more entirely to his glory.


1. We can possess this joy here and hereafter if we are filled with the unselfish desire that others should be blessed and that God should be glorified in them. We deprive ourselves of it if we are guilty of envy at the spiritual progress which they are making, and at the evident tokens of God's grace working in them.

2. We can contribute to this joy. By our own steadfastness in the faith we add to the treasury of joy which is the possession of the whole Church. We give joy to the angels. We are able to increase the joy even of our Lord, who, seeing of the travail of his soul, is satisfied. - V.W.H.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,

WEB: always in every request of mine on behalf of you all making my requests with joy,

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