The Christian is not promised an easy life yet Paul commands the Philippians not to be anxious but at all times to rejoice in the Lord. Despite the trials and suffering we experience, we are exhorted to trust in the Lord’s sovereignty and goodness rather than doubt His plans and control. Such doubts lead to worry which underestimates God’s power, care, and knowledge of our situation. The antidote to anxious living is faithful prayer. The Lord uses prayer to direct our needs, correct our priorities, and increase our joy. The end result of His Spirit working within the faithful Christian is a peace that endures, guards, and comforts.
Suffering will either push us away from the Lord or push us closer to him. The Apostle Paul, while imprisoned teaches us the secret of contentment in suffering and how to rely upon the Lord. Through prayer we present our needs and cast our anxieties upon God. And He is more than sufficient to strengthen us and grow our faith.
Upon his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Jesus is simultaneously celebrated and misunderstood. Many thought Jesus would come and overturn the Roman rule or shake up Judaism's leadership. But Jesus' coming to Jerusalem was for a far greater purpose. The incarnation and sacrifice of Christ was about to fulfill it's purpose, to bring glory to God through the redemption of sinners. Jesus came to Jerusalem to establish a new Kingdom by overthrowing sin and death.
Paul experienced joy in suffering, contentment in every situation, and peace that surpasses understanding. He rejoiced in difficult circumstances, encouraged others from a prison cell and remained humble despite being used by God in prolific ways. How was he able to do all this? We learn his secret through the book of Philippians.
Paul concludes his letter to the Philippians in the same way he started it, by thanking the Philippian Church for their partnership in the gospel. Paul commends their generosity and assures them of their sanctification and spiritual blessings. Christian generosity is a barometer of our spiritual health.
Contrary to what the world might say, joy and contentment are not necessarily determined by our circumstances. We can learn to have joy and contentment regardless of whether we live in abundance or lack. Indeed, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
It is a glorious and peaceful thing to be able to have the mind of Christ. In Philippians 4:8-9, Paul teaches us how to live such that God's presence is near and brings peace to our hearts. Proper thinking leads to godly living. If we can transform our minds by the Spirit, we will live renewed in the Spirit.
Paul teaches us that it is possible to have joy even in the midst of earthly trials and suffering. But this just isn't any joy, it is joy in the Lord. This morning we explore what it means to have peace and joy in the Lord.
What comes to your mind when you hear the word 'home'? The apostle Paul taught that our primary citizenship was not to any country on this earth but rather was to a place altogether different. In this passage we learn how to live with our hearts set on our true home where we have our ultimate citizenship.
The apostle Paul had a past that included persecuting the church, even approving of the murdering of Christians. Yet, through Christ he was forgiven and mightily used by God. In Philippians 3, Paul teaches us how to move beyond our past and strive forward toward the prize.