In our passage today, Paul is writing to the believers in Philippi while he is in a Roman prison. He is joyful in his encouragement to this spiritual family, yet throughout his letters he is real to acknowledge his sufferings are for the glory of God.
Philippians 1:9 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.
The Apostle Paul wants his spiritual family to know what is really important to the Lord, so he writes to reveal the Christ life with them. He wants believers to use their faith in order to grow in knowledge and understanding of the Word of God which has been made living and active for their lives (Heb 4:2). It is through suffering for Christ (the Living Word) that we learn obedience and find the power to align our wills to the holy plumb line of our Creator. Please remember the suffering Jesus mentioned his disciples would face; in fact, he told them to count the cost before they made the commitment (Luke 14:33). Like Paul, we will experience different sufferings, but we must be willing to deny ourselves and take up our cross for the sake of the Word (Luke 9:23). So, we must stay the course in love, joy, and peace while God uses each trial in our lives for our spiritual good and for the advancement of his kingdom.
Prayer: Lord, years ago when you offered me your love and welcomed me into a relationship with you, it was not an invitation to an easy life. It was so I could understand my spiritual destiny. It was so I would never have to face things alone. It was so you could be the strength I would need for every trial or challenge. Thank you for always being with me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.