Wednesday, September 27, 2017

God glorified through our hard times

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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Philippians 1:15-30

TO CHEW ON: “Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death” - Philippians 1:20b

Paul would have had a lot to complain about if that had been his style. He was in prison as he wrote Philippians. Though fellow Christians were being emboldened by his clear witness to the palace guard (a good thing) some were preaching in a competitive spirit (out of “selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains” - Philippians 1:16).

But Paul was determined not to let any of this get him down. He saw the bright side of his captivity—the men guarding him were being exposed to his bold witness (Philippians 1:12,13). Because he was already in chains, they couldn’t use the threat of arrest to silence him, so he was bolder and more fearless than ever (Philippians 1:14). The competitive spirit of the fellow preachers didn’t please him. But he was happy that even through them the gospel was advancing (Philippians 1:18).

And in the matter underlying it all, the fact that he had lost his freedom, he seemed to be at perfect peace. We don’t see him whining that God didn’t send an angel to spring him from jail, as He did for Peter. Instead, Paul declaredFor I know … that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness as always so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or death (emphasis added).

I need more of that spirit. You too? So often my attitude is, Lord, I need you to take this problem away (this illness, condition, obstacle, lack…) so that You will be glorified.

But no. Instead I need the faith that God can be glorified as I go through the difficult things in my life: “Christ magnified in my body whether by life or death.”

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You that Your deliverance from and through our problems comes “through the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:19). Please fill my life with that supply today. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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