I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 1:3–6
Paul writes that, when he prays for the Christians at Philippi, he prays with joy. He’s overjoyed to see the Spirit move and to see God working through his peers. How could Paul experience profound joy in prison? It turns out that the recipe for joy is very simple:
- 1 part faith
- 1 part thanksgiving
At this point in Paul’s life, he is dutifully responding to God’s call, going where God leads him. The Christians at Philippi are relatively comfortable when compared to Paul’s prison cell, but he doesn’t care. God’s mission is being played out and Paul rejoices in his brothers and sisters’ success.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
— Psalm 37:4
The difference between happiness and joy is that joy is eternal. Have you seen the way God is working in other people’s lives? Can you recall a time where you took note of the work God was doing through your friends, your family, your peers? I know I’m guilty of overlooking the little things that are evidence of God’s work, but Paul’s thankful prayers serve as a great example, one more expression of his faith. So take the time today to thank God for his faithful servants.