Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Tuesday - Philippians 1 - Glad, in Any Case


HILIPPIANS 1 is a very optimistic (and true) view of the Christian life. To begin this letter, Paul expresses great joy and confidence concerning his own situation, and toward the believers in Philippi.  "I'm thankful, I'm joyful, I'm confident, I love, I yearn..." these are not the expressions of a sour-green­-persimmon-sucking old bellyacher. Although we know that Paul endured many hardships in his life and ministry, we also see that he had learned to keep on the sunny side of life (Philippians 4:11).  This is not to say that he looked at life through rose-tinted glasses, or that he was either gullible or delusional. Paul knew what was real all right, but (and perhaps we should say, "in fact") he saw everything in light of eternity's values. Nothing is more real than the eternal spiritual realities of our faith.


Through the eyes of faith, Paul was able to see all the way to the finish line. He could see how God was working all things out according to His own will and plan (Romans 8:28). So, He encouraged the readers of this letter by reminding them that their ultimate and full sanctification was inevitable (Philippians 1:6). Still, he challenged them to press forward toward full fellowship and communion here in the meantime (Philippians 1:10). He gave them a perspective with which it would be hard to argue. He basically declared that as long as the name of Christ is being spread abroad, we all have a good reason to smile (vs. 14-18).

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