Summary: Part of a lengthy series I am doing in the book of Philippians.
HOW TO BE A CHRISTIAN AND STILL ENJOY LIFE
HOW TO LIVE CONFIDENTLY IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
Sunday April 6, 2008
Scripture Reference: Philippians 1:18b-20
A. I want to speak to you today about something that I think is pretty relevant to the times in which we are living. In my opinion most people feel pretty uncertain about the times in which we live. The day I began to write out this message I read a news report on the web that said consumer confidence had fallen again. People are worried about the rising cost of gasoline and how that affects the cost of every thing else we buy. Home prices have dropped almost 11% over the last twelve months. A good friend of ours and of many some of you in this church, Rachel Unger who has been a tenured teacher in San Diego recently lost her job due to the school budget crisis. To top all this off we have the continued threat of terrorism. All the experts in this field keep telling us that it is not a matter of “if” it is a matter of “when” we will be attacked here in America.
1. How in the world can a person expect to not be filled with anxiety, worry and fear with all these terrible things looming over us like dark storm clouds? I am sure some will feel that Christianity is more of a way to try and escape the problems of this life rather than a way to live joyously through them. Of course I believe the opposite is true. My faith in God does not allow me to escape any of these realities that I just mentioned, but it does allow me to find hope, courage and confidence in the face of all these things. We all know that Jesus didn’t say that if we accepted him as our savior that all these problems would go away. Instead we know that he said we would still have trouble in this world. That was the wonderful promise he made to us in John 16:33.
2. If becoming a Christian were the way to escape all the problems of this life then I must be left to conclude that the Apostle Paul was not a Christian because I see in his life a whole lot of trouble. Look at what he said himself about his life, 2 Corinthians 6:4-5 In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind.5 We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food.
B. Today as we continue in this study in Philippians I want you to see with me how as we follow this example Paul set that we too can do more than simply survive this life, but enjoy this life even with all of it’s hardships and uncertainties. There are three things I want to show you today. 1. To live confidently we need help. 2. To live confidently we need to be focused. 3. To live confidently we need to be surrendered.
Trans. Let’s look at this first point.
I. TO LIVE CONFIDENTLY WE NEED HELP.
Here I go again sounding like a broken record but I think there are still a lot of us that haven’t got this message. There is no such thing as a Lone Ranger Christian. You were not designed to live this life alone. It is perfectly OK and understandable for the world to sing, “I did it my way” but it is not OK and it is not understandable for the church to sing this. This is NOT OUR SONG people! Our song is as the old hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers” says “All one body we”.  (Might talk to Dave about signing a song here about the body of Christ.) If we are to live confidently in these uncertain times then we need the help of others.
A. We Need The Help Of Others.
1. In V.18 we read that Paul said he is rejoicing even though there are those who are trying to make life miserable for him while he is in prison. Even though people are preaching Christ for the wrong reasons Paul is rejoicing because Christ is being preached and people are being saved. But then in the end of V.18 Paul tells us that he is continuing to rejoice for another reason. He says that he is rejoicing because of the help these Philippian Christians are providing for him. Now how are these Philippians helping him? Well we do know that some practical things were given to Paul. Remember that the Philippians had sent this man Epaphroditus to provide for some of Paul’s needs. What those things were we do not know exactly but according to Paul’s own words in chapter four he was adequately supplied.