The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. Philippians 1:16
Listen: Philippians 1
In last weekend’s sermon, Senior Pastor Jeff Manion challenged us not to let our suffering go wasted. Paul was very familiar with suffering. He had become aware of harmful teachers motivated by envy, rivalry and selfish ambition. Paul’s name was taking a beating, but he didn’t care because the message of Jesus was advancing. He also knew he was being watched and the gospel’s credibility was at stake. He knew that people would make decisions about Jesus based on how he responded to his circumstances.
If between suffering and not suffering, we would all choose to avoid suffering. Suffering hurts and can create confusion, complaint, bitterness, resentment and the feeling of abandonment. In contrast, suffering can also be some of our richest seasons of growth and trust in God. However, this requires the courage to choose a focus on things that cannot be stolen—Christ and the gospel. Our health, financial security, job or people we love are a few of the significant gifts of life that can be taken from us. The challenge is to honor Christ and make his name known when we suffer.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Today, write down the following prayer on page 18 of your journal, “Father, I need the courage to embrace my current circumstances in a way that brings honor and glory to your name. I know others are watching me and this is an incredible opportunity to model how to courageously follow you and reflect your heart even in disappointment and uncertainty.”
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.