Summary: During this series we will be looking at Paul
Philippians Pt2- Be Joyful in Suffering
(some thoughts taken from a sermon by Craig Groeschel on Joy)
Continue with our 2nd part- in series on Philippians.
Paul- founded- church- 10 years prior to this letter.
Philippi-Roman colony-Macedonia, NE corner- Greece.
Philippians- letter of thanks to- church- sending offering.
Paul wrote the letter while in prison in Rome.
2nd century book- Paul was short, fat, bald, bowlegged, had bushy eye-brows and protruding eyes.
Chapter 1 (v9-30)
Paul’s prayer for- spiritual growth/maturity of the church.
Apostolic prayer- memorize, pray over self, others.
Love- specific type- one with knowledge/discernment-
if we love- particular subject, we learn about it,
if we love a person, we want to learn about them,
if we love God, (why would it be different?)
we will want to learn about Him.
Approve- to distinguish- truth vs error, good vs evil, regard as worthy those things important to God.
Throughout Philippians - see various aspects of joy.
Here we see Paul maintaining joy in-middle of suffering.
Paul- prisoner- Rome- two years- facing execution.
Paul wanted to preach in Rome- ends up as a prisoner.
Devastating blow to Paul’s desires/dreams- but God takes what looks like- disaster-turns-around for good
Typically when experience difficulties- we ask WHY?
The way Paul maintains joy in the middle of his difficulties is not to ask WHY, but WHAT?
In these verses we see him answer the question WHAT-
What is God doing?
What is God’s purpose?
What does God want to show me?
What does God want to do through this?
As we look at how Paul maintained joy in the middle of suffering we see he asks WHAT and not WHY.
Two thoughts to enable us- walk in joy- in difficulties-
God can change your obstacles into opportunities.
Paul- changed to a Roman soldier 24hrs a day, changed every 6 hours- who was the real prisoner?
God can change your setbacks into setups.
Look at another way Paul maintains joy in- difficulties.
There were people preaching Christ to gain personal popularity (show up Paul)- others- for physical profit.
V18 What then- but what does it matter, in other words
In the end who cares, Christ is being preached.
Now, there are things that matter- we must address these and take them before the Lord.
But many times the things that upset us are little things that are not of real significance- ask ourselves-
So what will it matter 100 years from now?
So what will it mean in eternity?
So what is really important right now?
Now, we are not talking about happiness, but joy.
Happiness is based on happenings.
when happenings are good, we are happy.
when happenings are not good, we’re not happy.
Joy-never based on happenings- always based on God.
Paul’s confidence is based on two elements:
1. the prayers of other believers
Persistent intercession releases the power of the HS-
Luke 11:9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10“For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.
2. the power of the Spirit of God.
Paul trusted in the provision of God in every situation.
Now- Paul was on trial for his life- yet he understood that his life had already been taken by Christ!
Paul is saying- if I effectively seize the opportunity in my current situation- Christ will be glorified in me.
For me, to live is ___________ to die is ____________
money -- leave it all behind
fame -- to be forgotten
pleasure -- to lose it all
Christ -- gain
Too often salvation for a Christian is waiting until I die so I can go to heaven and live forever with God.
Paul says, whether I live or die, I live for Christ NOW.
Paul saw life having a purpose beyond his pleasures.
Paul’s desire- stand along side of others/help others.
Paul sought to live for Christ- in this- found happiness.
Happiness is a by-product that comes to us as we occupy our lives with seeking and serving the Lord.
We must live as if we are citizens of heaven.
We are citizens of two worlds- have obligations in both.
Two things Paul expects of citizens of heaven-
1. Stand firm (fast)- persevere, steadfast
Many Christian’s are in retreat-we are called to advance
1 Cor 16:13 (NASB) Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
2. Striving together
Speaks of athletes working together to win a trophy.
We are called, as the church- struggle/work together.
Believe- called to absolute faith/confidence in God.
Suffer- experience hardships, difficulties, to serve God.