THE STORY OF JESUS: Philippians 1-2
“What has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.” (Philippians 1:12)
Life can be hard, and for many people life is too hard.
Tragedy and disappointment, injustice and cruelty, broken promises and relationships.
It might lead some to say, “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2)
Paul does not have this response; he seems to find joy in his misery.
Paul is in prison, and people are taking advantage of his situation.
God’s enemies seem to be winning, and Paul is losing the fight.
But that is not what we hear; instead we hear Paul repeatedly expressing joy.
Where does Paul’s joy come from… from His confidence in God and Jesus.
God is God, and Jesus has beaten evil by living and loving like God.
Now everything that happens is the outworking of Jesus’s victory.
Even Paul’s chains are resulting in people being inspired, or coming to faith.
This doesn’t make suffering easier, but it does give us hope through it.
Despair or joy… Paul has found the key to joy in whatever happens!
Despair or joy… as a Jesus follower I am determined to choose joy!
What do you sense the Lord saying to you?
Lord, strengthen me with Your Spirit, and inspire me with Paul’s joy, that I too may be able to rejoice despite what is happening to me, or around me.