Sunday, February 6, 2022
These are Paul’s closing word to the Book of Philippians: “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! (Philippians 4:4). Paul wasn’t saying, “I am in prison, and these chains are a blessing. I’m so happy for this pain.” I’m convinced Paul prayed daily for his release and at times cried out for strength to endure. That is our first impulse in our afflictions, to cry out, “Why?”
The Lord is patient with that cry, but God has also made provision so that our “whys” can be answered by his word. Paul writes, “Knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel … Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice” (Philippians 1:17-18).
We don’t have to do spectacular deeds for the Lord. Our role is to place our lives in God’s hands and believe He will care for us. If we simply do that, His gospel is being preached, no matter what our circumstances. Christ will be revealed in us in our difficult circumstances.
There is a story told of an elder in a church, who lives with chronic pain that allows him to sleep no more than a few hours each night. Despite his constant pain, his devotion to the Lord is a testimony to all.
Question: Is Christ being preached in your present trial? Does your family see the gospel at work in you? Or do they see only panic, despair and questioning of God’s faithfulness? How are you responding to your affliction?
You are Loved, Pastor Don