But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Philippians 1:18
Listen: Philippians 1
In this series, Senior Pastor Jeff Manion has said, “joy is the focus on the generosity of God that expresses itself through gratitude and praise even in seasons of extreme pain and deep disappointment.” True joy requires the grit and determination to trust God is charge—in spite of how I feel or my current circumstances. Joy recognizes that the day is approaching when we will be in Christ’s presence, and he will wipe away all of our tears so we won’t have to deal with pain and disappointment.
However, this does not come easily. Paul freely admits he is in a space he did not want to be. This is perfectly normal and respects our frail humanity. The path toward true joy requires the honesty to admit “I don’t like this space” and “it isn’t fair that I am here.” In Philippians, Paul is very honest about his discomfort and uncertainty—but he does not waver in his faith and trust in God. The Romans might be able to steal Paul’s freedom, but they cannot steal his joy for what Jesus accomplished on the cross through his sacrifice and generosity. In the face of real disappointment and pain, Paul summons the grit and determination to praise Christ and advance the gospel.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Take a moment to listen to the song Endless Light by Hillsong. Then turn to page 18 in your journal and list several of the things you can praise God for in your life.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.