Cultivate Joy Over Time

Series: Rebel's Guide to Joy | Week 2: When the Struggle Is Real

Read Philippians 1:12 in your personal Bible or at the link provided.

Philippians is often called “the joy letter” because of how often Paul referenced being joyful. This week’s Bible passage will give us a glimpse into what Paul faced while writing the letter – imprisonment, challenges, pain, and unfair criticism and slander. Under these circumstances, Paul could have gotten bitter. He could have lashed out or lost heart. Instead, he cultivated joy.

This is a powerful example for us today. Life can send us on tidal waves that impact our ability to be joyful. When life is good, we feel good. When life is bad, we feel bad. We all want happiness, but we can’t base it on circumstances out of our control. If we want joy tomorrow, we have to start cultivating it today and we have to cultivate it over time.

Joy isn’t external; it’s internal. It isn’t based on circumstance; it’s based on the condition of our relationship with Jesus. Joy isn’t by chance; it’s by choice.

Cultivate joy over time. Pinpoint one situation or area of your life where you’ve struggled to find joy. What choice can you make today to begin cultivating joy in it?

Use your Philippians Guidebook to reflect and respond. For a digital copy of the guidebook, visit

Want to go deeper? Look up the following verses for specific reasons you can be joyful no matter what. Note what you observe and then continue with your time of response.

2 Corinthians 4:16-17
1 Peter 1:6-7

Rebel's Guide to Joy