Day #3: Philippians 2:1-11
Joy that defies pride.
Pride is one of the greatest enemies of joy. It will steal your joy faster than just about anything else. Pride, after all, thrives on being comparatively better than others. As a result, pride drives us toward a life of constant striving, which means we can never rest. We need two things to combat pride: the first is the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. The second thing we need is the gift of humility. We can escape the pressure of pride by welcoming the opportunities to fight against it, and even intentionally humbling ourselves. We can do all this, because Christ did it first.
Philippians 2 is a passage of scripture known as the “Christ Hymn”.
“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ” (v. 8-11)
In many ways, this passage is the centerpiece of the entire book of Philippians. This is the key to Philippians, and it’s the key to Paul’s joy.
The joy of humility.
What we see in the Christ Hymn is the arc of humility. When we lower or humble ourselves, God lifts us up. This “lifting up” isn’t just a far off promise. Paul doesn’t only have eternity in view. Instead, we will taste some of the glory here and now. That is the promise of the humble way. When we lower ourselves, when we gladly endure shame and humiliation just as Christ endured it for us, we encounter a joy and freedom we never knew before. This is why Paul had such unshakable joy. Not even a thread of his contentment was tied to his pride. If people mocked his misfortune, it didn’t matter. If people thought they were better than him, no skin of his back. He wasn’t in it for himself, He wasn’t on a mission to serve his pride.
This is why Paul was one of the most joyful, few men you could ever imagine. It just wasn’t about him.
I definitely struggle with pride. It is so easy to think highly of ourselves and low of others. The part of the devotional that said pride drives us toward a life of constant striving, which means we can never rest, spoke to me. When we are constantly trying to build ourselves up, keep up with the trends, be the best, and be perfect for the sake of our pride, we fall into this lifestyle of striving, selfishness, and bondage. It’s tiring and unfulfilling. So some reflection we can do everyday is to ask ourselves some questions, pray, and apply God’s Word to our lives intentionally. How can I be humble today and think of others first? How can I serve? I have to remind myself everyday, that it’s just not about me. Pride will steal our joy! I encourage you today to practice humility and fix your eyes on Jesus! There is so much freedom in it.
If you missed day #1 or day #2 of this devotional series, click the links and you can go check those out or follow along in the Bible App (YouVersion) by starting the devotional Defiant Joy by Sharon Hodde Miller. Thanks for joining me for Bible study today! What was something God spoke to you about? Drop a comment below! I would love to keep the discussion going with you!
Until next time,