The book of Philippians has been my food for the past month or so in response to the encouragement of a faithful brother of mine.
Having struggled my whole life with negative thought patterns, which come so easily—without any conscious effort—I am asking the Lord to train me in a pattern of joy. Perhaps this is an area where Christlike growth is needed in your heart and life too.
Toward the goal of re-training our hearts, consider the following reasons to be joyful. Let this list be a starting point for you to meditate on the Word of God.
1. You have grace and peace from God (1:2).
2. God will finish the good work of transformation into the image of Christ that He began through the gospel (1:6).
3. Fellow believers are a gift from God, partakers with you of grace (1:7).
4. In Christ, you are filled with the fruit of righteousness (1:11).
5. God works your circumstances to His glory (1:12).
6. Christ is proclaimed, whether or not the preacher’s motives are always pure (1:18).
7. Christ will be exalted in your body, whether by your life or by your death (1:20).
8. Your death will be gain (1:21).
9. True, likeminded believers who live in love and unity (2:2).
10. Setting your mind on the humility of Christ (2:5-11).
11. The privilege of serving in gospel work (2:17-18).
12. One loyal friend and co-worker (2:20).
13. The mercy of God in the sorrows of life (2:28-30).
14. The Lord himself is reason to rejoice (3:1; 4:4).
15. The surpassing value of knowing Christ (3:7-8).
16. Pressing toward the goal of Christ (3:13-16).
17. Your true citizenship is in heaven (3:20).
18. True brothers and sisters who are loved by God and who love you (4:1).
19. God hears your thankful prayers and gives you peace (4:6-7).
20. Developing godly thought patterns is possible in Christ (4:8).
21. You are loved by other believers (4:11).
22. Contentment is yours in Christ (4:12).
23. God faithfully meets your needs and the needs of your fellow believers in Christ (4:17-19).
Finally, my brothers and sisters, let us rejoice.
The Lord is at work redeeming and sanctifying a people for Himself.