CHRISTIANS ARE ALWAYS ON THE MOVE BUILDING GOD’S KINGDOM

When God called Abraham, he didn’t say, “You need to ascribe to these commandments, right principles, and correct beliefs.” Instead, God told Abraham, “Go from your country, your people, and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” How did Abraham respond?

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him.” Genesis 12.4

He didn’t say a word. He got his feet moving.

When it came time for Jesus to assemble the men who would become His apostles and disciples, he didn’t command them to discern and discover all of the scriptural rules and laws to govern their conduct and learn what they should believe. No, Jesus called them and what was their response?

Immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.Matthew 4:22

They got their feet moving and so should we.

In the three short years that Jesus ministered on this earth, Jesus walked over 3000 miles. He was a man on the move. He was a man of imminency and intention.

Jesus took ordinary people, made by and in the image of, his Father, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, turned them into a community, a family, of fervent and dedicated apostles, disciples, and students, thereby launching the greatest social movement in human history.

By Jesus’ death and resurrection, He made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, to indwell the Spirit of every person who repents of their past rebellion against God and given their life to Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Submitting to baptism in water they have shown they have died to their old life and been born again by the Holy Spirit into a new life in Christ.

It is possible to be born again by the Holy Spirit and yet we quench His work in our lives thereby grieving Him.

The detailed message we are given of how Elijah heard from God is tremendously important.

What did Elijah hear after the wind, earthquake, and fire?

And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.1 Kings 19:11-12

How did Elijah respond to the “still small voice“? He “went out..”. He got his feet moving.

And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out…” 1 Kings 19:13

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.Ephesians 4:30

It is obvious from this Scripture that it is possible to grieve the Holy Spirit and we are told that we quench His work in our lives when we ignore His “still small voice“. I know in my own life that I often am distracted by worldly attractions and miss God’s best for me which means I miss the joy that we get from serving Him.

Prayer is the way we stay in touch with God, Human beings were made to be in fellowship with God. Adam and Eve’s disobedience severed the link but thank God He asked His Son, Jesus, to restore the link. What does God do for those that relate to Him in love? The Psalmist puts it well when he said,

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence, there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.Psalms 16:11

If we are obedient and get our feet moving when He asks us to go, He will guide our steps.

Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him because we keep his commandments and do what pleases Him.” 1 John 3:21-22

LIVING ETERNAL NOW TRUSTING GOD

If you invest in the right treasury (eternal, not temporal), adopt the right perspective, and serve the right Master you have nothing to worry about. In contrast, those who invest in the wrong treasury (temporal, not eternal), adopt a here-and-now perspective, and serve the wrong master (money, not God) have every reason to worry.

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15

Since we cannot serve two masters, our fear of not having enough reveals our true master.

Jesus specifically tells us not to worry about life’s necessities—food, drink, and clothes. Then He says,

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to youMatthew 6:33

According to our Lord, giving isn’t what leaves us short of material provision. Jesus promises to provide for givers in full measure.

Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

How about this promise in Malachi?

Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.Malachi 3:10

When we give away our treasures, we are seeking God’s Kingdom first. And therefore, “all these [material needs] will be added to” us.

available on Amazon as an ebook and trade paperback edition

Paul told the Philippians, “I have received everything in full, and I have an abundance. I am fully supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you provided—a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God” Philippians 4:18, CSB

Their financial gifts were gifts to God. Since they gave so generously to provide for him and his work, Paul was confident God would provide the same for them: “My God will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19, CSB). This is a familiar promise, but most people don’t realize that in context, it is specifically for givers who have stretched themselves to become sacrificial partners in Kingdom ministry. “For even in Thessalonica you sent gifts for my need several times” (v.16).

RANDY & NANCI ALCORN’S TESTIMONY

In some cases, God’s provision is obvious—we get an unexpected check in the mail or are given something we thought we’d have to buy. One time Nanci and I discovered an error we’d made in our bank balance, finding we had significantly more money than we realized.

In other cases, God’s provision is less obvious but equally generous. A washing machine that should have broken down a decade ago keeps working. A car with more than two hundred thousand miles runs for three years needing no repairs. A checking account that should have dried up long before the end of the month somehow makes it through. As God miraculously stretched the widow’s oil supply in Elisha’s day (2 Kings 4:1-7), and as He made the Israelites’ clothes and sandals last forty years in the wilderness (Deuteronomy 8:4), I’m convinced He sometimes graciously extends the life of things that would normally need replacement.

The God who fed a million-member family in the wilderness for forty years, fed five thousand with one boy’s lunch, and who is perfectly capable of turning water into wine and stones into bread, will not have any trouble providing whatever He knows you need.

Adapted from the article by Randy Alcorn, “If We Fear God, We Can Trust His Provision” August 8th, 2022 http://www.patheos.com

GREAT TESTIMONY FOR JESUS CHRIST

Legendary American TV host Kathie Lee Gifford first encountered Jesus as a young girl in a movie theater — a moment that forever transformed her heart and mind.

Listen to Gifford detail her journey to Jesus on “The Prodigal Stories Podcast“.

Kathie Lee Gifford arrives at the Pre-Grammy Gala And Salute To Industry Icons at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

The popular TV show host offered a passionate call to fellow Christians to reach others with the Gospel.

“The devil doesn’t own the airwaves. … the Lord does,” Gifford said. “Everything belongs to God, and we need to reclaim them for His Kingdom.”

The entertainer, set to release a new film titled “The Way,” a one-night-only Fathom Event on Sept. 1, encouraged fellow Christians to create stellar content.

“We have got to stop putting out dreck (junk) and call it ‘Christian’ and expect it to be blessed,” Gifford said, calling believers to “excellence” when creating entertainment.

She believes her latest film fits that bill. “The Way” is a musically driven movie promising to bring the Bible to life “as you’ve never seen before,” with oratorios (narrations set to music) driving the experience.

The TV host spoke passionately about her love for the Lord and said she feels called to Christian storytelling, which she will pursue for the rest of her life after retiring in 2019 from daytime TV.

I just know how to put myself in the hands of the Holy Spirit and get out of His way,” she said, explaining how past Bible-based projects led her to realize what God wants for her life. “I realized, ‘Oh my Gosh, this is what I’m supposed to do for the rest of my life.’”

Gifford added, “I’m supposed to take these unbelievably powerful, epic stories of people in the Bible and bring them to life in a brand new way that no one’s ever seen before.”

I love to hear stories from Christians that know they have heard from the Holy Spirit about what they need to be doing with their lives. Moreover, I, for one, look forward to seeing what the Lord produces through Kathie Lee Gifford in the years ahead.

HOW SHOULD CHRISTIANS LIVE IN THESE LAST DAYS?

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.Philippians 1:21 Can we say as Paul did, “to live is Christ“? We can only do it if we know the presence of the Holy Spirit within. When we have experienced His presence and leading. For me. speaking and especially singing in tongues confirms the presence of the Holy Spirit within my spirit. The more we experience His presence the less likely we are to quench His work in our lives and grieve Him. “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.Ephesians 4:30

Christian martyrs

What about suffering for Jesus Christ, even rejoicing in our suffering for Him? Once again we can only do this “because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.Romans 5:3-5

For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in Him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.Philippians 1:29

We will need to know the presence of the Holy Spirit and trust Him implicitly in the soon coming prophesied “end times” because Jesus warns us that there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world.

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.Matthew 24:21-25

TRUE BELIEVERS WILL OBEY JESUS COMMANDS

Pretend actors-for-Jesus can quote Scripture, but their desires haven’t changed. They merely feel good that they now have religion, too. Their faith is not a central transforming reality; it’s an add-on to enhance their lives. They believe in a god made in their own image, not the true God of the Bible. They worship a cosmic genie who meets their needs and gives them what they want. They may call themselves servants of Christ. But in fact, they are masters, calling the shots, claiming what they want to claim and believing what they want to believe, and expecting God to come through for them. And when He doesn’t, they either blame Him for not being good or blame themselves and others for not having enough faith to get their way.

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:21-22

How different from the biblical description of us as slaves of Jesus Christ! Yes, the original word is best-translated slaves, not servants, and describes those who are sold out to His ownership and committed to doing whatever He calls them to do, including dying on His behalf should He so desire.

“Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as slaves (servants) of God.” 1 Peter 2:16

We are also called children of the King, and there is a time when we will enjoy all the privileges of royalty. But now is not that time! Presently we experience some royal kingdom privileges, including constant and unhindered access to the One who sits on the throne. We can “come boldly before the throne of grace,” as Hebrews says. God’s Holy Spirit dwells within us. He has promised to provide what we need to serve Him (Matthew 6:25-32). But when it comes to enjoying all the material provisions living in the King’s mansion provides, we are not yet there.

We are still on foreign soil—hostile soil—where people are fighting against God’s kingdom. We are not just tourists or palace-dwellers; we are “strangers and exiles on the earth,” who are “seeking a homeland” (Hebrews 11:13-14), and longing for “a better country, that is, a heavenly one”.

But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.Hebrews 11:16

God has prepared a heavenly Jerusalem which John saw coming down from heaven onto the new earth which the Saints will inhabit after the White Throne judgement.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.Revelation 21:1-3

What we need in our churches today are fewer actors and more sold-out followers of Jesus—converted people living lives centered on Jesus, the King of kings.

God is raising up leaders that are truly sold out to His purposes of making disciples. Find and connect with these leaders.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NIV).

“The Kingdom of God is not going to be advanced by our churches becoming filled with men but by men in our churches becoming filled with God.” —Duncan Campbell

Taken from another great article, Our Mission: Make More Disciples and Fewer Performers  JULY 7, 2022 by RANDY ALCORN

CHRISTIAN LEADERS WILL FAIL

This article has been extracted from an insightful article by Sarah Yardley entitled HOW TO COPE WITH THE FAILURE OF CHRISTIAN LEADERS. She is a Californian based in Cornwall, UK. She studied Theology at St. Mellitus College. Sadly she ignores the Holy Spirit’s role as our teacher, comforter, and counsellor. Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell our spirit and enable us to live the Christian life. For many of the leaders that have failed, one has to question: were they ever born again by the Holy Spirit? If they were they have certainly grieved Him and quenched His work in their lives.

Recently, it seems like we have seen an acceleration of sins exposed, hearts laid bare, and the broken places in the lives of our leaders revealed. What do we do when we find our heroes have fallen from their pedestals? I have found the following areas essential as I navigate moral failure.

  1. Look to Jesus

Beyond the current headlines, I think of key leaders in scriptural and Christian history: Noah, Moses, Naomi, David, Martin Luther, Karl Barth, Bill Hybels, Bob Coy, Ravi Zacharias, myself… At some point, all will fall and all will fail. The only one in whom I have certain hope, trust, and expectation of faithfulness is Jesus. When my leaders fail, I fix my eyes on Him.

  1. Seek truth and accountability

When I first experienced a period of watching leaders close to me fall into moral failure, I struggled with panic attacks, doubts, and anxiety. If they could fall, surely I would too. (I do, often). These questions can push us into pain and bitterness, or they can cause us to say: “But for the grace of God, there go I.” Choose friends in your life who will speak truthfully and honestly to places of failure, and ask for grace and help in growth.

  1. Forgive

Forgiveness is a key distinctive of the Christian faith. It reminds us that the faults and failures that once defined us can be redeemed at the cross of Christ. Actively choosing to forgive can be challenging and raw, but it frees us from carrying a weight that will cripple us. As Ray Hinton, wrongly imprisoned for years for a crime he did not commit, wrote: “If you want to be free, you have to forgive, and I want to be free.”

  1. Process the pain

Leaders fail. Allow that to bring grief. Let it break your heart, stretch your soul, and make you weep. Don’t rush past the emotion that it can – and should – bring us when one who proclaimed the words of truth with life and power, who made doctrine dance, also allowed honesty to dance away as well. Read the Psalms. Lament. These are the wounds we received in the house of our friends, and our saviour is still binding them up.

  1. Live in the light

I don’t publish every sin I wrestle with. I don’t feel the need to post every place I have battled pride, lust, gossip, fear, or offense. But they are many. And my close friends, leaders and, above all, Jesus are walking with me in these places. If we walk in his light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7). Wherever possible, live in the light.

  1. Pursue presence above platform (Seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance continually each day so that you will not grieve Him and quench His work in your life)

Everything in our lives is an invitation to intimacy with Christ. Every day, we choose to turn our hearts towards his love or towards our own pleasures. I see some of the moral failures in our Church today and wonder about the infinitesimally small, unseen choices that turned hearts towards pleasure and power. It’s easy to sit in the position of judgment towards others and forget how much our own souls long for immediate pleasure. In the presence of Jesus, we find a different, deeper, eternal joy. He continually invites me to choose his presence above any other platform.

CHRIS PRATT, LIKE ALL OF US, NEEDS TO BE CONCERNED HE DOES NOT GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT

Actor Chris Pratt is turning heads with recent comments he made about religion and public perception, proclaiming in a new Men’s Health interview, “I’m not a religious person.”

He speculated that some of the anti-religious animosity he has struggled with emerged after a 2018 speech at the MTV Movie & TV Awards during which he openly discussed God and encouraged young people to cling to Him.

Chris Pratt arrives at the premiere of “Thor: Love and Thunder,” Thursday, June 23, 2022, at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles

God is real. God loves you, God wants the best for you,” Pratt said during his speech while accepting the Generation Award. “Believe that; I do.”

The actor reflected on that moment in his interview with Men’s Health, wondering if he actually touched anyone. He also reportedly now understands why people responded so negatively.

“Maybe it was hubris for me to stand up on the stage and say the things that I said. I’m not sure I touched anybody,” he said. “Religion has been oppressive as [expletive] for a long time.”

Pratt continued, “I didn’t know that I would kind of become the face of religion when really I’m not a religious person.” “I think there’s a distinction between being religious — adhering to the customs created by man, oftentimes appropriating the awe reserved for who I believe is a very real God — and using it to control people, to take money from people, to abuse children, to steal land, to justify hatred. Whatever it is,” Pratt told Men’s Health. “The evil that’s in the heart of every single man has glommed (grabbed) onto the back of religion and come along for the ride.

It should be noted Pratt has often discussed his faith, telling Esquire in 2014 about how he first encountered Jesus. Here’s what he said at the time:

“In Maui, about four weeks before I was discovered to go to California, I was hanging with my buddy. I wasn’t quite old enough to drink, so we got somebody to go in and buy us some alcohol. This guy came by and was like, ‘What are you doing tonight?’ I was like, ‘Oh, I dunno. I was just gonna wait out here, my friends are gonna buy me a bottle of Carlo Rossi and a sixer of Milwaukee’s Best Ice. So he’s like, ‘Will you fornicate tonight?’ I was like, ‘I hope so.’ ‘And drugs and drinking?’ It’s like, ‘Most likely, yeah. Probably all three of those things. I mean, at least two of them, possibly all three.’ He was like, ‘I stopped because Jesus told me to stop and talk to you. He said to tell you you’re destined for great things.’ My friends came out, and I was like, ‘Hey, I’m gonna go with this guy.’ I gave my soul to Jesus within, like, two days. I was stuffing envelopes for his organization, Jews for Jesus. I’m not even sure, at that age—I was nineteen years old—I knew what Jewish was.”

One of the more personal issues Pratt spoke on was claims from some critics he was somehow insulting his first wife, Anna Faris, last fall when he took to Instagram to compliment his new wife, Katherine Schwarzenegger.

For context, in November 2021, Pratt shared an Instagram photo of Schwarzenegger lovingly gazing at him and showered praise upon her in the text.

What most reasonable people would view as a comical, loving ode to his wife was dubbed by a Salon writer as a “bizarre early birthday post.” The writer went on to explain how “many viewed this as an ableist (fostering discrimination against disabled people) slight toward his first wife, actor Anna Faris, and the son they share, who was born premature and is disabled.”

These claims, which were bizarre at the time, have hurt Pratt. “I’m like, that is [expletive] up. My son’s gonna read that one day. He’s nine. And it’s etched in digital stone,” he told Men’s Health. “It really [expletive] bothered me, dude. I cried about it. I was like, I hate that these blessings in my life are — to the people close to me — a real burden.”

It appears from this and other interviews that Chris Pratt is struggling with giving up his life totally to God. “I’ve been broke-broke, dude,” he says. “And I think early on in my career it was so important to me. It’s like, Don’t forget where you came from. Don’t forget who you are. And part of me is struggling with who I am maybe not being who I was.”

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.Romans 8:13-17

All of us struggle with the flesh but in this Scripture, Paul makes it clear that we need to be led by the Holy Spirit. Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell a believer’s Spirit to be his counsellor, comforter, and teacher. Chris Pratt, like all of us, needs to be concerned that he does not grieve the Holy Spirit or quench His work in his life.

USA MASTERS GOLF WINNER SAYS HE PLAYS GOLF TO GLORIFY GOD

New Masters champion Scottie Scheffler said he’s “trying to glorify God” through his golf career, giving all the credit to the Lord as he spoke with reporters after his stunning victory. Scheffler was asked how he balances his desire to golf competitively without letting it define him as a person. “The reason why I play golf is: I’m trying to glorify God and all that He’s done in my life.” The 25-year-old champion golfer didn’t stop there. He went on to say his “identity isn’t a golf score” and shared how his wife, Meredith, recently offered an encouraging reminder of that reality. “Like Meredith told me this morning, she says, ‘If you win this golf tournament today if you lose this golf tournament by 10 shots if you never win another golf tournament again,’ she goes, ‘I’m still going to love you, you’re still going to be the same person, Jesus loves you, and nothing changes,’” Scheffler said.

Scottie Scheffler wins the 2022 Masters.

Scheffler said his wife regularly prays for him to experience peace, something he always wants to have on the golf course. Additionally, he seeks to experience “God’s presence.” “Every day when we go out there, Meredith always prays for peace, because that’s what I want to feel on the golf course, is peace and have fun and just feel His presence,” he said. “So that’s her prayer every day. That’s my prayer, and I really felt that today. I felt at peace.” Earlier in the press conference, Scheffler shared how overwhelmed he was before his win. He felt Sunday morning like he might not be ready for all that was unfolding. But Scheffler came to some critical realizations after talking with his wife. “My wife told me, ‘Who are you to say that you’re not ready?’ Who am I to say that I know what’s best for my life?” he said. “What we talked about is: God is in control, and the Lord is leading me, and if today’s my time, then it’s my time.”

OBEDIENCE NO MATTER WHAT THE OUTCOME

John Chau

On Nov. 15, 2018, John made first contact with the Sentinelese. Later that day, a Sentinelese boy shot an arrow at John that lodged in the Bible he was holding.

John retreated and prayed for wisdom. Should he keep going? Should he turn back?

“God, I don’t want to die,” John wrote in his journal that evening. “WHO WILL TAKE MY PLACE IF I DO? Forgive [the boy who shot me] and any of the people on this island who try to kill me, and especially forgive them if they succeed.”

On the morning of Nov. 17, the fishermen who had dropped John off saw tribesmen burying John’s body on the beach.

“I believe that the measure of success in the kingdom of God is obedience,” John Chau said shortly before his death. “I want my life to reflect obedience to Christ and to live in obedience to Him. I think that Jesus is worth it. He’s worth everything.”

John Chau was one of whom the world was not worthy of. I remember when the news of him got onto the media, people mocked his decision and said it was his fault that he died, sadly even some people who profess the faith condemned his actions. What a beautiful life he lived for the Lord. He reminds me of how Korea got the gospel through Missionary Thomas who got killed on the shore even before he got to preach the gospel just like John Chau, but through that death, a great revival was brought forth upon Korea. May the blood of John Chau bring great revival upon the Sentinelese people. Just like what God’s word says in John 12:24, “Truly, truly I say to you unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Truly humbled by what John Chau realized as he gave his life to serve the Sentinelese people. Thank you, VOM for this beautiful video!

ENDURING THROUGH SUFFERING

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.Philippians 4:13

You cannot view this verse in isolation you need to consider the previous verse first.

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.Philippians 4: 11

Philippians 4:13 is not about how one can literally do anything we put our minds to simply because we are in Christ. Paul has a specific context in mind here—and it is not about attaining your personal goals and aspirations, developing a healthy conception of self-worth, nor is it designed to be a coping mechanism to deal with the grit and grime of life. Truthfully, the passage isn’t even about finding the secret of contentment in all things, despite insistence from many that this is the focal point of this passage. This interpretation does have more validity to it due to the following passage.

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.Philippians 4:11-12

Paul undoubtedly affirms learning contentment in all circumstances. However, the overarching point of Paul to the Philippians in this passage is not contentment, but one of enduring through suffering, particularly, suffering brought on through no fault of our own.

Job a model of faithfulness in suffering

The Letter to the Philippians is one of Paul’s epistles written from prison, which means that as he pens this letter, he is chained to a Roman guard waiting for his trial before Caesar. In the midst of Paul’s expression of gratitude for their financial support, he takes the opportunity to encourage his people that Christ Himself is the source of all comfort, hope, and faith. The simple reason why Paul encourages them in this manner is they have been appointed, not only to eternal life but to suffer for the sake of Christ, which in particular for them means they will experience the same things Paul has (Philippians 1:29-30). Paul is not only referring to being jailed for Christ’s sake, but to enduring physical persecution (2 Corinthians 11:23-27).

It is in light of this that Paul then ministers to those in Philippi by highlighting the hope of the gospel, the resurrection, and the object of their faith: Jesus Christ. He is all-sufficient and provides for our every need by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Bible teaches us how to embrace suffering for the glory of Christ because it is the means by which we enter His Kingdom.

Adapted from articles by Grayson Gilbert on Suffering. Click on embrace suffering and you will connect to another great article by Grayson Gilbert.