Continuing our hybrid Philippians series, Pastor Chris dives into the next section of chapter 1. After the greeting and opening regards from Paul, he quickly gets to the heart of the letter. Paul is writing this joy filled letter from prison. In other words, not what one might expect from someone incarcerated: a letter of encouragement, joy, and filled with uplifting words.
But Paul here is sharing his current situation with the church in Philipi. He is telling them, “Yes I have been arrested for sharing the Gospel. But you know what is awesome about this? Because I have been arrested, it is actually allowing me to share with more people about Jesus!” Wait! What?!?! Paul is happy that he is in jail? Yes, Paul is excited that he now has a new “captive” audience to witness too. And because the way in which he is acting with a positive attitude in the situation, it is an even more powerful witness. Wow!
I am not sure that I would have this perspective. However, Paul does not stop there. After that, he goes on to say, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.” (Philippians 1:21-24)
Therefore, Paul is basically saying, if I die, great, I get to be with Jesus in Heaven, but if I live, awesome, I get to continue to tell people about Christ. Either way it is a win. People are going to get to know about Jesus. That is what matters. Similarly, my situation does not. The struggles in my life do not. Circumstances around me do not. Above all, the only things that matters is Jesus Christ. What a powerful perspective.
What could it look like for you to have Paul’s perspective on life this week? Are there things that would be different? What would be the same?
How Can We Be Praying For You?