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Finding Joy in My Circumstances

Help, I'm drowning!


As Christians, God wants to give us joy, no matter what our circumstances are.


A whiteboard.
Dry-wipe pens.
For each young person:
A printed copy of the Study Sheet below.
Bibles or printed-out copies of Philippians 1:1-30.
Pens or pencils.

Click here for the Study Sheet


Philippians 1:1-30.

Memory Verse:

Nehemiah 8:10, "The joy of the Lord is my strength."



The theme of Paul's Epistle to the Philippians is joy, which a child of God can enjoy no matter what their circumstances.  Paul wrote it in a Roman goal, around AD 60-65, while awaiting possible execution.  He therefore speaks out of experience, and gives practical suggestions on how we can keep our joy.

Paul's Situation and Advice:

Divide the group into small teams of three to five people.  Let them discuss the following the Study Sheet questions.  A set of possible answers are given as a guide for the teens.

  1. Where was Paul when he wrote this chapter?
  2. In a Roman prison cell awaiting judgement.
  3. What would you expect someone to feel in those circumstances?
  4. Lonely, fearful, depressed and hopeless.
  5. Find words in Chapter 1 which describe Paul's actual feelings.
  6. Joy (v4), confident (v6), rejoice (v18).
  7. What enabled Paul to have joy in such circumstances?
  8. Paul saw himself as:
    A son of God - and enjoyed a right relationship with God through Jesus (v2,10,21).
    A servant of God - and saw his imprisonment as an opportunity (v14).
    A soldier for God - and likened his situation to a soldier fighting a battle (v27-30).
  9. What circumstances are we in that make us unhappy?
  10. School, exams, unhappy family, divoice in the family, broken relationships etc.
  11. What can we do to overcome our lack of joy, despite being hassled by circumstances?
  12. Be a son, a servant and a soldiers of God (explain the application of each of these).
    Have faith and trust Jesus to meet their needs and guide them in their circumstances.

Discussion Time:
When the teams are finished, let them select a team member to report back the team's findings.  Record the consensus on the whiteboard and discuss any points that need clarification.  Conclude with a prayer for action and that the teens will take to heart what they have studied.

God Bless!

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