5 Ways To Increase Your Joy

Anastasis Faith

By Brittanie


Paul’s letter to the Philippians is characterized by joy. In the first chapter alone, “joy” and ‘rejoice” are both said twice. Over the past month, I have started memorizing the book of Philippians with some friends, and have spent a lot of time reading Paul’s words, as well as reading commentary and sermons about these verses.

During this time, God has revealed to me ways that I am not fully embracing the joy that He gives, and I would like to share those with you in case you find yourself in the same boat.

As Christians, we have a crazy gift of joy, which is dependent on our relationship with Christ and our nearness to Him. This means that we don’t have to worry about being happy. Happiness is related to circumstances; it is related to things that might or might not happen; it is related to how we feel about what is (or isn’t) happening. Happiness is a temperamental feeling that shifts constantly and is hard to grasp, always slipping out of our hands with the first wind of bad news or unwanted circumstance.

Joy, however, is eternal and steadfast because it is born in us by a God who is eternal and steadfast. There are many things that will try to steal our joy, but if we remember where our joy ultimately lies and keep returning to that lovely Source of true delight, it is impossible for it to be taken from us.

Here are a couple of ways that my joy has been rocked this summer, using Philippians 1:3-8:

“3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 1:3-8 ESV


1. vs. 3 “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you…”

When I am feeling negative, I get into the habit of thinking about past occurrences where I have been wronged by others, or when things seemed to go not as planned. But joy focuses on the good memories and recalls how God is faithful in our life and in our friendships.

2. vs. 4 “…always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy…”

My prayers will become self-focused when I am not embracing the joy of the Lord. Joyful people are prayer warriors for others. They sincerely delight in interceding for others; they pray God’s blessings and faithfulness to show up in the lives of those that are dear to them. When I realize this in my own life, that I am not delighting in praying for others, the only way I have found to fix it is to pray that God would give me a heart that lifts others up. (prayer is vital for joy!)

3. vs. 5 “…because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”

This verse is talking about finding joy in light of the fellowship we have with other Christians. I remember specific days this summer when I have had thoughts of not wanting to be at church, or at Bible study, and wondering what in the world was wrong with me. Because I love the church, truly I do. I love the idea of being around people who have the same faith in the same Savior, who offer encouragement and love and prayer. Christian fellowship is something that should always bring to us a feeling of joy. From the moment of salvation, we enter into a partnership with every other Christian who has the mindset of loving others, serving Christ, honoring God, being led by the Spirit. That is a cause for celebration, my friends!

4. vs. 6 “And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

Sometimes, it is easy to get caught up in the state of how things are now. When we dwell on what’s not perfect in our present situation, we will be disappointed. I am a sinner, I mess up daily, I’m still learning what it looks like to live like Christ. But God promises that He will complete the work that He started in us.

In other words, He will bring this work of salvation to its complete end of glorification, though the lifelong process of sanctification. Those are a lot of big words, but it basically means God is not finished with me yet. He’s not finished with you yet. He is the one who saved us, He is the one who is making us look more like Christ (sanctification), and He is the one who will ultimately remove all our sin and bring us into His eternal presence (glorification). And for that, I should be filled with joy.

5. vs. 7-8 “It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.”

This is the final joy I want to touch on, and it kind of encompasses all of them in one. I started thinking about the people in my life who, when I think about them, I am overwhelmed with affectionate thoughts. I made a mental list of those people in my life who I love so dearly, who I am so thankful for, because of how they impact my life. My best friend, my mentors, ladies at church, the people on my ministry team, my high school basketball coach, my old youth pastor—when I thought of each of these people, I experienced such a joy and sadness all at once.

I had the immediate desire to write them all or call them and tell them of how much joy I found in remembering them. But that was also the moment when I was humbled to the reality that, in these relationships, I was not living out the fullness of joy that I am called to. Sometimes I remember these people with a selfish attitude or a hidden bitterness in my heart, instead of thinking about the godly ways they have touched my life and being grateful.


Paul wrote this letter to the Philippians from prison. His circumstances gave him every right to not be joyful, according to the world’s standards. But by God’s standards, Paul was able to experience tremendous joy, because he was not concerned at all about his circumstances. His joy was rooted in Christ, and He was able to focus on that and rejoice in the partnership he had with the Philippian church.

What a sweet reminder to us that our joy is also rooted in Christ, and that we can celebrate the fellowship we have with other believers who are partnering with us for the sake of the same gospel message!



Do you struggle with being joyful? How did this article help you? Share in the comments!

Anastasis Faith / Author & Editor

Anastasis is a Texas girl who enjoys writing, blogging, and music. You can connect with her here on her blog, or at morningglorypursuingjesus @yahoo.com

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