Sunday 13 August, 2017

Philippians 1:27-30

27 No matter what happens, live in a way that brings honor to the good news about Christ. Then I will know that you remain strong together in the one Spirit. I will know this if I come and see you or only hear about you. I will know that you work together as one person. I will know that you work to spread the teachings about the good news. 28 So don’t be afraid in any way of those who oppose you. This will show them that they will be destroyed and that you will be saved. That’s what God will do. 29 Here is what he has given you to do for Christ. You must not only believe in him. You must also suffer for him. 30 You are going through the same struggle you saw me go through. As you have heard, I am still struggling.

Going ahead – rain, hail or shine’. Have you ever heard that idiom before? It’s essentially a mindset that says, “whatever happens, I’m still going ahead”. Over the June long weekend, a bunch of friends and I planned to go on a camping trip. In the days leading up to the weekend the weather was extremely wet. The weekend was forecast to be equally wet. Given the weather, we had no idea how it would turn out, but thanks to the commitment and enthusiasm of a few key people, the camping trip went ahead and was an absolute blast! It is unlikely that the camping trip would have gone ahead without a ‘rain, hail or shine’ attitude. Can I say, I love that attitude! It’s not doubtful or on the fence. It’s confident and committed. That is the mindset that Paul is encouraging the Philippian church to have when he calls them to live in a manner ‘worthy of the gospel of Christ’. He wants them to be all-in, in a life of witness and faith in God, even in suffering (v. 29).

‘Whatever happens’ in this life doesn’t have to stop us from living for God’s glory. Paul’s life was a clear example of this mentality – he proclaimed Jesus in freedom and chains, rain, hail or shine. This teaches me that a life of faith in God is not bound by our circumstance.

How about you, are there areas of your life where your faith in God is conditional to your circumstance?

Father God, thank you for Paul’s encouragement to us to declare your praise in every circumstance. Give us strength not to be swayed by our circumstances or discouraged by suffering. Help us to have a mindset of being ‘all in’ and to give you praise ‘whatever happens’.

Written by Sam Liu

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