Day 3: Kingdom joy

A LoveSingapore 40.Day prayer and fast devotional, following 2022's theme of To Live Is Christ: A Journey Through the Book of Philippians.

LoveSingapore // July 3, 2022, 12:01 am

40 Day 2022-03

Bible reading for 40.DAY 2022 |  Philippians 1:3–5

Paul is thankful for the Philippians, not just their gifts. He recalls their partnership in the Gospel from his first day in Philippi until now.

It all started during his second missionary journey. He and his team had been bouncing off closed doors in Asia. Then he had a vision of a Macedonian man urging him to come over and help them (Acts 16:6-9).

So Paul left at once for Philippi, a leading city in the province of Macedonia. That’s when, by divine appointment, Paul and his team met Lydia.

God opened her heart. She and her entire household became founding members of the Philippian Church and partners with Paul in the Gospel (Acts 16:13-15).

Now Paul writes this letter to all the believers in Philippi. And in so many words he says, “It’s a joy to pray for you.”

Gratitude, prayer, and joy are inseparable in Paul’s life.

Gratitude, prayer, and joy are inseparable in Paul’s life. He is always thankful, always prayerful, and always joyful. Even when everything seems to go wrong at the wrong time, he rejoices in the Lord.

He did so during that first visit to Philippi, while under torture in a maximum-security prison (Acts 16:25). Now he does so as a prisoner of Rome, falsely accused of capital offences and awaiting trial and possible execution.

Despite his dreadful predicament, Paul remembers his Philippian friends and prays for them with joy and gratitude.

Philippians is an Epistle of Joy. The word “joy” or “rejoice” occurs 16 times in this short letter. About half of these apply to Paul. And the rest to the readers. That’s more than enough joy to go around. Paul and the Philippian Christians are collaborators in the Gospel and sharers in kingdom joy.

What is kingdom joy? It’s nothing less than the pure and perfect and heavenly joy of Jesus.

Kingdom joy is nothing less than the pure and perfect and heavenly joy of Jesus.

He promised His very own joy to all who abide in His love and keep His word (John 15:10-11, 17:13). This Jesus-joy is the hallmark of the Christian life. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. A ‘produce’ of the Spirit in every heart that is surrendered to the will and rule of God.

If joy is missing, it means that something else is missing. Be it love, prayer, gratitude, or just simple obedience. Because wherever the will of God is done on earth, there is joy unspeakable and joy indescribable.

No matter how richly you experience this holy joy, you will never be able to define it. It’s beyond words because it’s Divine. It is the Eternal Joy that is shared between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit from everlasting to everlasting.

Dear Disciple of Jesus, do you know this joy?

Pray Now

1 Does the privilege of belonging to your home church fill your heart with joy? Or have you taken her for granted? The local church is God’s design for relational discipleship in community. Make it a conscious habit to thank God for the community of faith to which He has joined you: 

  • Remember the past. With joy, acknowledge His handwriting in every chapter of your church story. Its birth. Its founding fathers and mothers. Its major milestones. Its fiercest battles. Its worst setbacks. Its best lessons learned. Its fondest memories. Give thanks to God for the rich heritage of faith and faithfulness that is yours today in your church family.
  • Celebrate the present. With joy, thank God for wise and bold leaders who guided your church through the pandemic. And for all who have stayed true and now stand in solidarity, serving as one. Pray: Lord, fill our hearts with gratitude for one another’s contributions. Flood our souls with delight as we labour together in love to saturate our city with “good news of great joy” (Luke 2:10).

The local church is God’s design for relational discipleship in community.

2 “Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure” (DL Moody). Will you rev up prayer for your home church? Not just during church prayer meetings. Not only when problems crop up. Not once in a while when it’s convenient. But consistently in your personal time and space, and also in clusters as a family, cell, campus, or marketplace group.

“Prayer is love on its knees” (Dick Eastman). Pray with joy. Expect two things: A great move of God. A grand homecoming of nomads and prodigals —

  • who think that onsite, in-person church gathering is optional
  • who prefer the convenience of the so-called online church
  • who have gripes against the local church and shop for other platforms
  • who are distracted by the world and have left the church.

3Gratitude is the seedbed of joy” (Peter Kreeft). Gratitude is a kingdom value, a virtue to be cultivated. Reflect on Henri Nouwen’s insights and pray for your community of faith:

“To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives – the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections – that requires hard spiritual work.  

“Still, we are only truly grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for. Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.”

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About the author


Founded in 1995, LoveSingapore is a unity movement motivated by love, fuelled by prayer, and inspired by a common vision: God's greatest glory seen through a life changed, a church revived, a nation transformed, and a world evangelised.