We All Struggle
Do you ever struggle with trusting God when things get rocky? I do not know anyone who does not struggle at times. I have had my share of struggling just in the last few weeks. We all struggle at times.
In the last few entries, we have talked about growing in our faith and becoming more like Jesus. In the last verse we looked at, Paul talked about how, at the end of his life, he wanted to see them shine like stars as they held out the “word of life” to the people around them. Today, we will continue talking about Paul and where he is in his life.
Philippians 2:17-18 NIV
“But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.”
We must remember that Paul was in jail when he wrote this letter to the young Philippian church. He was not in a good situation at all and felt that this imprisonment may end with his execution for his teaching and preaching. He was trusting that God’s perfect will and timing would be the deciding factor in this. However, he was preparing these new believers for what may come and he wanted them to trust God with the outcome too.
Let’s go to Verse 17:
“But if I am being poured out like a drink offering…”
The Drink Offering
Paul, being a well educated Jewish man, would have been very familiar with all the offerings and sacrifices that the Jews were instructed to make. In Numbers 15:1-10, the drink offering is spoken of, as being added to the offering or sacrifice the worshiper was bringing. A drink offering was poured out as an offering in worship to God. It was an outpouring of love.
For Christians, the intricate sacrificial system of the Old Testament had changed, because Jesus was the ultimate and all-sufficient sacrifice for all who believe. So, Paul is saying that if his trial does not go well and he is executed, then he will willingly be an offering poured out in worship to God – he would willingly offer himself up to God if that was God’s will.
More of Verse 17:
“…on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith…”
Paul is using the terms “sacrifice and service” because they indicate submissive hearts full of faith. The Christians at Philippi deeply desired to serve and obey Christ to the glory of God.
Finishing up Verse 17:
“…I am glad and rejoice with all of you.”
So Paul is saying that he wants God’s will and that he will rejoice with the Philippians as they grow in their faith, serve and glorify God.
Now to Verse 18:
“So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.”
Paul does not want them to struggle in their faith if he is executed, but to continue to be obedient, serve, and glorify God.
What Can We Take Away From This?
No matter what is going on in our lives and the lives of the people around us, we need to trust God that He is in complete control. We need to know that His way is absolutely the best way. We need to rest in these facts.
One day you will say that I am a broken record saying this over and over, but it is so true!!
- Seek Him to know Him.
- Pray that He will help you know Him, trust Him, and love Him more.
- It all begins with knowing Him better.
- That will lead to trusting Him more.
- Then your love for Him will grow.
- Then you go back to knowing Him better and so on.
This is a beautiful self-perpetuating cycle that grows broader as you grow in your relationship with Him. So keep growing in your knowledge of Him and everything else follows. Keep asking Him to help you, because of course, this beautiful self-perpetuating cycle is powered by the Holy Spirit Himself.
Lord, I thank You for Your Word. I thank You for showing us how to trust You and thank You for the example of Paul for us to identify with. I ask You that You would help us to seek You, know You, trust You and love You more every day. Help us to always be growing in our relationship with You. In the beautiful name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.
Go Deeper Today: