This past spring, I found myself struggling with sadness. No one had died recently. There were no tragic circumstances. I was just downhearted.

I made the decision to methodically go through the book of Philippians. Many writers and theologians call it the book of joy. The word joy or rejoice is mentioned at least fourteen times in this small book. Paul wrote it during his first Roman imprisonment around AD 60–62. Obviously, Paul did not have much reason (from a human perspective) to be joyful.

My simple definition of joy, it’s an emotion/feeling produced by the Holy Spirit as we focus on His grace toward us. It is not dependent on anyone or anything. Joy is a gift from Christ!

As I studied this short letter, I realized there were some “joy thieves” at work in my life. One of those was pride.

True joy begins with humility. In Philippians 1:1, the great apostle Paul, clearly one of the greatest missionaries to ever live, described himself as “a servant of God.” He didn’t name all the churches he had planted, nor did he give a list of the letters he had written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He simply stated that he was identifying as a servant.

A servant is one who is in a permanent relationship of servitude to another. A servant’s will is totally dependent on what the master is requiring of him or her.

My joy can’t come from my work, my position, my titles, my accomplishments, or even from other relationships. All of those will fade away or cease to be. Only my relationship with Christ will bring me true joy.

So who am I, according to Christ? I am His “treasured possession,” according to Deuteronomy 7:6. The Hebrew word here is segullah.

Picture a king going into his treasure room and showing a guest all his vast treasures. The guest asks the king, “What is your favorite treasure?”

The king walks over to one specific item and picks it up and says, “This is my treasured possession.”

Friend, be encouraged today! Find joy in the truth that you are His treasured possession.

He has uniquely created you to be His servant. Identify yourself only as His servant, his most treasured possession!