Suffering, pain, challenges, trials, difficulties: these are present in all our lives at one time or another. Most of us also spend a lot of time worrying about how to prevent these things from happening...even though they will no matter what we do.
But what if I told you that there is a way to find joy and see good things happen as a result of these situations?
Text to Read: Philippians 1:12-30 NLT
Some key points from this message:
Paul's situation isn't great, but he is allowing it to be used for Jesus Christ, thus bringing purpose and joy into it.
When your focus is on yourself, happiness is dictated by your situation. When your focus is on Christ, joy is found in every situation.
Your attitude in the situation will impact the effect it has on you and those around you.
Paul's joyful attitude positively impacted the palace guard and other believers (vv. 12-14), but what would have happened if he had a downcast or bitter attitude instead?
The key for Paul was his understanding that it is the spread of the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus' sacrifice for humanity, that truly matters (vv. 15-18).
Give your situation to Jesus and trust that he will use it to make a difference.
Paul doesn't talk about how he's going to deliver himself or how he's doing great things. He talks about how the Church's prayers and the Spirit of Jesus will lead to his deliverance. Paul understands that where he is powerless, God is powerful, thus he talks about his deliverance in passive rather than active terms (vv. 19-21). God will use the situation to do something for his glory and the spread of the Gospel.
When Jesus is where your significance is found, you can stand strong and rejoice no matter what comes (vv. 22-30).
A note on joy:
Joy is a fruit made up of faith, hope, love, contentment, and gratitude.
We can find meaning and joy in our situation when we allow it to be used to glorify Jesus.
- Ask your closest friend what motivates you the most. If their answer is not “Jesus does,” ask the Holy Spirit of God to change your motives.
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