Last time, in Despite the Circumstances | Part 1, we took a look at Philippians 4:4-13, where it spoke on remaining faithful regardless of what was happening around us.
Today, let’s take a look at what that really meant in Paul’s life and how it should be a indicator for us on how we reflect Christ.
That Philippians 4 passage was an eye-opener for me. I could see firsthand from the life of Paul that, regardless of his circumstances, he was going to be faithful to the Lord. Even in verse four, where he mentions “Rejoice in the Lord,” it goes some much deeper than just taking joy in Christ, but rather ALWAYS being joyful, BECAUSE of Christ, REGARDLESS of the circumstances!
We see Paul lived by this standard by the examples he mentions in the passage:
- Being rich or poor, he had wealth in Christ
- Being filled or going hungry, he was nourished in Christ
- Having abundance or suffering need, he had an inheritance waiting for him in Christ
Wow, what a standard to live to!
Can we speak with the
same boldness and faith?
No matter what happens to me, I have been blessed in Christ, so I have nothing to worry or be anxious for. Those two verses (Philippians 4:4, 13) are some of the most quoted verses in scripture of “rejoicing in the Lord” and “doing all things through Christ who strengthens me,” but are often taken out of context from everything Paul mentions in-between.
We have to read between the lines and really understand what the intention of Christian living is. We are not living a prosperity gospel, where we are promised secular blessing because of our faith, but rather standing strong in faith, regardless of our circumstances, because we have Christ living in us!
Christ is the greatest example of responding through faith regardless of circumstance that we can learn from. Despite being the son of God, being holy and perfect in every way, He responded to the calling of God the Father and chose to suffer and die on behalf of sinful man. Though he did not deserve it, and did not have to do it, He wanted to have a relationship with his creation and was willing to pay the price with His own life in order to make it happen.
What an awesome God!
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. | Philippians 2:5-11