Joy in Suffering - The Book of Philippians
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.
Jesus is better than anything this world has to offer. Faithful followers of Jesus demonstrate this most clearly when they embrace gospel suffering and continue to hope in and take joy in God.
Despite Paul's impressive record of obeying the Old Testament law, he considered all of his achievements as garbage in comparison to knowing Christ. Paul exchanged his false righteousness for the true righteousness that comes through faith in Christ.
The local church exists to display the glory of God to the nations. One of the ways we do this, is by communicating the good news of the gospel, taking the message of what Christ has done and bringing it to the lost and unreached peoples of the world.