Philippians, Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi, is often called the “epistle of joy.” Over and over, Paul uses words like “rejoice” and “joy.” The secret of joy, he maintains, is the peace that God gives to those who live in union with Jesus Christ.

This emphasis on joy is especially noteworthy be­cause Paul was writing from prison in Rome. But his imprisonment didn’t dampen his spirits; Paul was still filled with the joy of his Lord.

The church in Philippi was the first one Paul estab­lished on European soil. It was located in the Roman province of Macedonia. Paul wrote Philippians to thank the Philippian Christians for the gift which they’d sent him. And he used the opportunity to encourage them. He also reminded them that no matter what trials they might face, they must remember their union with Christ, and avoid problems caused by selfish ambition and pride. UA-7689179-1