of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds,
are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
We all have them. We expect that people will be friendly to us, that we'll have good health, great marriages, faithful friends, and successful careers. But what do we do when life doesn't meet our expectations??
In PHILIPPIANS 1, Paul shows us the way. He faced broken expectations of place, people, and the future, yet he remained surprisingly upbeat.
Paul was stuck in prison--not a great place to be! When we get stuck in a brutal marriage, an unrewarding job, or a challenging neighborhood, it's easy to get discouraged. But Paul was wonderfully positive. He said his suffering helped advance the gospel ( See: PHILIPPIANS 1:12).
Maybe people haven't lived up to our expectations. Paul likely expected other believers to encourage him. Instead, some were actually glad he was in jail and were preaching out of "envy and strife" (See: PHILIPPIANS 1:15).
Paul's response: "Christ is preached, and in this, I rejoice
(See: PHILIPPIANS 1:18).
WHEN LIFE IS UNEXPECTED
Perhaps it's an uncertain future--the loss of a spouse, a job transfer, or a health crisis. Paul knew that at any moment, Nero might give the order for his execution, yet he declared, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (See: PHILIPPIANS 1:21).
TODAY: Adopt Paul's only expectation--for Christ to be honored no matter what life may bring.
In all, I think and say and do,
I long, O God, to honor You;
But may my highest motive be
To love the Christ who Died for me.
Song: THANK YOU LORD
Sung By: Don Moen