Few things in this life can give us joy like meaningful partnership with other believers in spreading the gospel of Christ. In his letter to the church in Philippi, Paul wrote: “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now (Philippians 1:3-5).”
In order to keep a joyful soul, we like Paul need to remember those who encourage and strengthen us. Too many times we only see the people who frustrate, disappoint, or drain us. Of course God can use these challenging people to help us grow in the sanctification process.
But we must never forget the people who are regular sources of joy, grace, and encouragement. In spite of Paul’s trials (he wrote these verses from prison), he chose to keep these beloved people in the center of his mind regularly and bring them before the Lord in prayer. Despite those in ministry who caused him much grief, Paul trained himself to focus on his many, faithful friends in this church.
Perhaps you need to stop and remember the faithful, energy-producing people that God has placed in your life. Take a moment to thank God for them specifically. Our joy is connected to our ability to remember God’s blessings to us in these special people.
One last thought. Not only did Paul remember his friends and thank God for them, he took time to send a Spirit-empowered letter of encouragement to them. It is easy to remember and pray, but then forget to let people know how God has used them to bless our lives. Take a minute and shoot an encouraging text or email to a faithful friend. Never take them for granted. You never know how God might use your note to bring joy to a weary soul today!
You are Loved!