Life Gets Messy
Sometimes, life gets messy and there is just no way around it. The question is, what are you going to do with it when it gets messy?
Today we will be talking a more about Verse 27 together with Verse 28.
Philippians 1:27-30 (Esp 27&28) ESV
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side with the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in Him but also suffer for His sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
Paul is talking about the persecution of the early church. The enemy of God – Satan was influencing many people, for sure. They were the opponents of the early church. Because of this opposition, these early Christians were suffering.
Looking back at Verse 27:
“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side with the faith of the gospel…”
Suffering for a Christian is not always from persecution. In the USA, persecution has increased some over the years but it is nowhere close to the level that the early Christians faced.
We suffer in other ways – that help us grow in our faith and mature in our walk with God.
Paul is saying that as things heat up and get harder, remember who you belong to. Stick together as believers and keep on sharing the gospel and loving each other.
Then to Verse 28:
“…and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation and that from God.”
As we keep our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) He will strengthen us to live in a manner worthy of the gospel. We must fix our eyes on Him and we will not struggle so much with fear.
So we know, according to Scripture, that we are going to suffer but that does not mean there will not also be great joy! As we grow in our knowledge of God and in relationship with Him we will see with clarity how we are to glorify Him and stay sane when hard times come.
The Hardest Days
When I was on my journey through breast cancer, I distinctly remember on the hardest days, over and over it was like the Lord had His hands on each side of my face, holding my face to hold my gaze and He was saying, “Look at Me! Look at Me! I love you! I love you! Look at Me!” This was not my imagination and it was not a dream. And as long as I kept my eyes on Him, I did not struggle too much with fear, anxiety, or depression.
When we are seeking to glorify Him, He will do what He needs to do to help us keep our focus on Him. He really does love us and He brings us through hard things because He intends for us to know Him better and be closer to Him on the leaving side of those hard things.
Lord, thank You for giving us opportunities to grow and know You better. I thank You for my breast cancer journey, because You showed me Yourself so much more fully. I ask You, that as each one of the people reading this, enter times of suffering, whether due persecution or not, that You would help them to hold tightly to You and allow You to grow them closer to You. Please make us what You want us to be and help us to glorify You in all we do. In Jesus’s name, I pray. Amen.