Stuart’s Story – Pt1

Thanks – Joy – Humility

Joy Comes in many forms but is wonderful. It can spring up in the most unlikely circumstances and can be created or shared by anyone. Since I have been confined in hospital I have found my self more emotional than previously. Fiona and I both cry for no reason. The least thing can require the dab of the handkerchief. But I was talking about joy.

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 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. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.


In my circumstances there are a vast number of prompts to emotion. My room is unlike any other. It did have plain painted walls. It is now decorated with family photographs and texts. There are some really good images of the children and grandchildren.They are set in places that prompt memories of good times. The need for joy is perhaps more urgent here. Hospital for a while limits joy in other ways. It brings a clear realisation of the limits of bodily movement and the striping away of contact created by work. The joy created by a sense of work well done is gone. The joy found in contact with others doing the same work is gone, rather conversation is limited to those in similar limited circumstances, but also valued visitors (more later)

12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.
15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.

Philippians 1:12-19 NIV

Paul says he felt joy and wanted more. Emotion of that sort is God given or God inspired. And it is simple, not worked up or manufactured. This joy is that he encountered from within. What follows is an imperfect but appropriate illustration. I love my family dearly. Each individual brings joy to me and makes me thankful. Some because of the things they do; some simply because of how their personalities shine through. Some because of the combination of both. Some because of just the relationships that exist.The point is, simply thinking of them creates real joy within.

So back to you and me. JOY. Paul prayed with joy because of the consistent partnership in the gospel. This was a new relationship a new church . So simply the relationship first. You and I are part of an amazing relationship that is Gods creation. His church! That is sufficient to create joy! My grandchild, Lowenna, is not yet 3 but has the language of a 5 year old. She is cute and adorable, but I would say that. The mixture of relationship and behaviour creates joy in me! Robin and Maggie, my next grandchildren are just 5 months, whilst their behaviour is cute it is not sufficiently developed to have the same effect. I love them because of who they are, remarkable identical twins, but more than that, they are little lives emerging and they are mine, well Sam’s and Rachel’s. More accurately because they are my grandchildren.

Paul gave thanks for those Christians when he remembered them. Given the warm joy they created in him it is not surprising. This is an aspect of the God inspired relationship. So back to you and me
Are we thankful for those God has given us. Do we let them know how we value them.

So what should we do?

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselvesnot looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

Philippians 2:1-6

In here unwell and restricted, humility is forced on me. I cannot display superior legal knowledge, I must fit in. I must be actively humble. Being STKC (King’s Council) means nothing, it doesn’t anyway! My visitors humble me. That leads to Joy. Be aware the simple visit and short conversation itself leads to joy.