Joy Through Our Situations Part – 3

Philippians 1:12-26
I want you to know, beloved, that what has happened to me has actually helped to spread the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to everyone else that my imprisonment is for Christ; and most of the brothers and sisters, having been made confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, dare to speak the word with greater boldness and without fear. 15 Some proclaim Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from goodwill. 16 These proclaim Christ out of love, knowing that I have been put here for the defense of the gospel; 17 the others proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but intending to increase my suffering in my imprisonment. 18 What does it matter? Just this, that Christ is proclaimed in every way, whether out of false motives or true; and in that I rejoice.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance. 20 It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be put to shame in any way, but that by my speaking with all boldness, Christ will be exalted now as always in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. 23 I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; 24 but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. 25 Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, 26 so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.

Saint Paul speaks about joy repeatedly throughout this book and does so even though he faces the roughest patch in his life. The last four years were extremely miserable yet he writes the passage above. He spent two years in prison in Caesarea and is put on a ship to Rome to face execution. On the way the ship breaks down, he is lost at sea but survives and once he gets to shore a poisonous snake bites him.

The poison does not harm him and so he spends the winter there and gets on another ship headed to Rome. He is in prison now for another two years where he is to face execution. The guards at the prison door rotate every four hours so he had no privacy in his life. Paul still says he will rejoice more greatly.

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