The Book of Philippians is a letter, written by the Apostle Paul. It is a rather short book, consisting of 4 chapters. Each chapter describing how joy can be experienced within different contexts.
- Chapter 1 – Joy in Suffering
- Chapter 2 – Joy in Serving
- Chapter 3 – Joy in Believing
- Chapter 4 – Joy in Giving
When I read Paul’s letters, I like to imagine that he wrote them to me.
By making the letters personal, as was Paul’s intention, I read them as “pep talks”.
They encourage me, while reminding me, that regardless of my circumstances there is hope when I put my trust in the Lord.
WHAT WAS PAUL’S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PHILIPPIANS?
Looking at Phil 1:5 we see that Paul had a special relationship with the Philippians, You have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.
Because of the close relationship Paul shares with the Philippians, he knows that they are troubled by his suffering. Therefore, he takes the time to reassure them that his suffering is not without purpose. Paul says, “I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear.” – Phil 1:12–15
WHO’S IN CONTROL OF OUR LIVES?
He reminds the Philippians that God is sovereign, and in control of his (and their) life and circumstances. Paul lets them know that he is fulfilling God’s intended purpose for him.
SUFFERING => UNFAIRNESS OR OPPORTUNITY?
Paul saw his imprisonment, not as an act of unfairness, or God forsaking him, but rather as an opportunity. An opportunity to spread the Good News that Christ came to save people, including prisoners and prison guards.
He saw his situation through God’s eyes verses limited human eyes.
Paul encouraged people by the way he responded when he was put into less-than-desirable situations. He demonstrated his faith, and encouraged others to experience God’s provision and comfort found in suffering.
ARE YOU IN PRISON?
You may not be in a literal prison, or even experiencing physically suffering, but you may feel trapped or discouraged.
IN CASE YOU MISSED A POST FROM PHILIPPIANS, SEE LINKS BELOW 🙂
– Want to Know a Secret – (Introduction) Philippians  , http://wp.me/p5nZpi-mp
– Really?? There Can Be Joy In Suffering?? – PHILIPPIANS (Ch.1b)  , http://wp.me/p5nZpi-no
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