Day #2: Philippians 1:19-30
Joy that defies suffering.
There is suffering all over this world. You don’t have to look far to see it, to feel it. The motto in today’s devotional is “Don’t let your pain go in vain.” Our suffering and heart break doesn’t have to be something to just survive or get through. It can be something to make the most of. We can learn and grow, or endure it all for nothing. Again, Paul is imprisoned, abandoned, and alone, yet he rejoices (v.18), and he trusts that “through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance” (v.19). He believes God will use his circumstances for good.
Turning Pain into Purpose.
Paul spends his days with intention. He also encourages the Philippian church (and us) to live intentionally. “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel” (v.27). Recall that Paul was under house arrest and constantly tethered to a Roman soldier. He literally had a “captive audience” (I love that part). He made the most of it by sharing the gospel with every soldier that he met. He didn’t let his pain go in vain. Anyone else would have seen prison as an obstacle, but he saw it as an opportunity. Our suffering can be purposeful, or purposeless. And we will suffer. In verse 29 it says,”For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.” 2 Timothy 3:12 says,”Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” This is a strange joy we can have in suffering, that God can work redemption through any hard thing. It’s not shallow, fleeting happiness but a deep, abiding joy anchored in God’s love. It is always available for us and for that we can rejoice. Whatever you may be going through or will go through in the future, know that God can use it if you let Him. Pray and ask God how your suffering can be an opportunity and not an obstacle. “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (v. 21) Just like Paul, this has to be true for you as well. Don’t forget to be there for others in their sufferings too. Our prayers for others are important (v.19). We should strive side by side with other believers, in one spirit, together (v. 27). Don’t let differences hinder the spreading of the gospel or helping of others. In Christ real unity and joy are possible.
Thanks for joining me for Bible Study today! I hope this was an encouragement or helpful to you. I know it challenged me! If you missed the first post in this series you can check it out HERE! You can also join the devotional in the Bible App: Defiant Joy by Sharon Hodde Miller. What was something God spoke to you about from the text today? Drop a comment below! I’d love to talk more about it!
Until next time,