Really?? There Can Be Joy In Suffering?? – PHILIPPIANS (Chapter 1a) – [2]

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.

  reading letter

By making the letters personal, as was Paul’s intention, I read them as “pep talks”.

  Professional football coach motivating player on sidelines crowded stadium in background

They encourage me, while reminding me, that regardless of my circumstances there is hope when I put my trust in the Lord.



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 1:1215


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.


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.


You may not be in a literal prison, or even experiencing physically suffering, but you may feel trapped or discouraged.



Want to Know a Secret – (Introduction)  Philippians [1] ,

– Really??  There Can Be Joy In Suffering??  –  PHILIPPIANS (Ch.1b)  [3] ,


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Turn from Your Sinful Choices!! – ZEPHANIAH – Chapter 2a – [4]

The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. – 1 Samuel 16:7b

Because God knows the heart of every person, Acts 15:8a, that which looks all-put-together, outwardly to people, does not fool God.

Recall that God is a God of judgement and a God of mercy.  To those who choose their own way apart from God, they WILL be punished.  But to those who followed Him faithfully, He will show mercy.

It’s so easy to think that God should punish so-and-so, or “they” got away with this-or-that. Or to express how life is just so unfair. Or thinking, what is the point of following God when “bad stuff” happens to me, people I care about, and all around me?

It’s during these times that this verse might help – The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. – 2 Peter 3:9

Zephaniah, chapter 1, ends with, He will make a terrifying end of all the people on earth. YIKES!!

But thankfully that is not the end of the story.