Summary: How to maintain your join where you are.

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How to Have Joy in the Place I am In

By Pastor Fernando Cabrera

Philippians 1:1-30

1. Avoid bitterness that can spoil

Three ways we can give in to bitterness:

• Striking Unfairness

“so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else” v. 13

Paul had been imprissioned in chains unfairly for two years (see Acts 23:29; Acts 25:25)

How you handle UNFAIRNESS will determine the quality of the person you will turn out to be

Wisdom #1: What has you chain up unfairly, can free you up spiritually

• Subtle Unfriendliness

“Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me DISTRESS in my imprisonment” (v.16-17)

Christian troublemakers: There are those who use ministry, instead of allowing ministry to use them

People with orthodox teachings, with unorthodox living

“By reason of jealousy and strife Paul by his example pointed out the prize of patience endurance…and when he had borne his testimony before the rulers…he departed from the world and went to heaven” (I Clements 5 – a non-inspired historical source).

• Seemingly Unfaithfulness (of the Lord)

2. Look for the blessing in everything

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain, but if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose” (v. 22)

Three blessedness to look for

in the place you are in:

• Opportunity to share the gospel

“So that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else” (v. 13)

Praetorian guard: 1) Cesar’s guard, 2) serve for 16 years, 3) receive citizen and large sum of monies at retirement, 4) chain to Paul in four hour shift (as many as two), 5) witness to at least six people per day

He share the gospel in places that it would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the difficulties he went through

There is opportunity in places we don’t even want to be: ex. My college

• Opportunity to release courage unto others

“And that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear” (v. 14)

Look for opportunities to give new boldness to other Christians

Wisdom #2: Turn chains into courage

The people who were really bound was not Paul, but his fellow Christians, who were bound by fear

• Greater grace to take you to the next level

“for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (v. 19)

Wisdom #3: Your apparent disappointment is designed to bring you deliverance

3. Find a boldness that can sing

“According to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that will all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death” (v. 20)

Confidence in God’s Control

No demands that says “I will continue to serve you if you do this for me”


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