Suffering – Philippians 1:28-30

Philippians 1:

[28] And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.
[29] For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
[30] Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

The Church of Philippi was apparently under persecution for trying to share their faith in Jesus with others.

Paul writes to them from the prison in Rome and tells them not to worry about anything their adversaries may do to them. He says they have been especially picked by God, knowing they have the strength to stand up to the persecution.

Paul tells the Philippians that the people who are terrifying them cannot do anything that could outweigh the rewards that will be given to them by God and that those people have already set their eternal, damnation punishment. However the Philippians standing in Christ are saved and their reward will be an eternal destination with God.

Paul asks them to remember how he had been persecuted while he was with them. He reminds them that even now in Rome, he is an innocent victim, and yet has been put in prison for his faith in Christ.

Paul continues to say that those in true faith can stand the persecution that are given to them. They shouldn’t despair when they are suffering but should count it as a blessing and rejoice that God will give them the strength to endure whatever happens to them, as God has done for him.

In verse 30 the Philippians are prompted by Paul to recall the way he had been tortured (see Acts 16:19-40) while he was with them and to keep in mind the situation, in Rome, that he is presently in.

Paul encourages them, reminding that to be persecuted in the name of Jesus is truly an honour. An honour that he has been privileged to endure many times during his time on earth and is encouraging them to do the same.

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Father God,

What a blessing Paul was to the Philippians. He was able to stand in faith and show them the way to endure whatever they came up against.

The encouragement didn’t stop when he moved on to other places. Paul continued to preach about Christ wherever he went.

Even while in prison in Rome (preparing to be tried for his life before the Roman emperor) Paul is still able to write and encourage the Philippians to stand strong in faith.

Lord, the 2nd coming of Jesus is drawing closer every day and people need to hear the Gospel now, more than ever before. May I (and other Christians) take a stand and preach your Word without worry.

If I am to spread the Gospel then I ask for the type of courage that you gave to Paul. I am not usually someone who can face confrontation head on, in fact I really dislike it, but I do know – that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Lord, with you by my side, I will tell others of you because I love you so much and I know it’s your desire that no one is lost from Heaven.

You have set me on this earth to spread your Good News and I pray Father that I can accept your assignment and complete it, remaining in faith, no matter what challenges I meet along the way.

I know God that you have equipped me with the armour of God and the faith and strength that I will need to do your work and for that I am grateful.

In the blessed name of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, I pray,

Amen

Suffering – Psalms 30:5

cid_018d01c7713c6540a3e06401a8c0-1Psalm 30:

[5] For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.(KJV)

Time has been laid out in a way that we can live by. Seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years and so on are in place for our convenience. However the Bible tells us that our “time” here on earth is but a moment when speaking of eternity.

Keeping eternity in mind, the author is saying that it may seem like we are out of our Father’s “mercy” for a very long time. However, in the reality of eternity it is but a moment.

We must also remember that God is slow to anger and will quickly forgive. He does not enjoy seeing any of his children sad or unhappy.

When we have lessons to learn we are taught through a teaching that God has allowed. More times than not, at the end of the lesson, we realize that our Heavenly Father was correct in teaching us and that indeed we needed to learn it.

When we finally understand the lesson, God is quick to forgive. The sun will be out and our weeping will stop and we will be closer to our Father than ever before.

Almighty God

Thank you for the many, many lessons I have been taught over the years. Looking back, every single one was something that has drawn me closer to you.

I must admit, that during times of learning, I sometimes wonder where you are. It seems as if I am alone. Quite often new lessons are given in a way that is not pleasing to me.

However I am now beginning to understand that they are given in love. Although I sometime feel as though they will never end, I know they last long because ‘I’ am just not getting the lesson.

As hard as the lessons always are, I thank you that you love me enough to allow me to go through them.

Yes Father, you are quick to anger but much quicker to forgive. Some think that when you anger, you are mad at us. Quite the contrary, love flows out of you regardless of the lesson we need to learn.

I’m so blessed that you love me so much. Thank you Father for all the lessons in my life. Joy most definitely comes in the morning!

In the name of Jesus, I pray.

Amen.christiancommtrials

Fear – 2 Timothy 1:6-7

godshands-12 Timothy 1:

[6] Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
[7] For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (KJV)

The Bible tells us that Timothy was a loving, gentle, kind person who was a very good apostle, but he was too timid to stand up to confrontations and was not bold enough in his teaching.

It seems that Timothy was naturally shy and easily discouraged. Paul saw the fear of confrontation was stopping Timothy from completing his task in the way the Lord wanted it done. He knew it was within Timothy to speak out without fear, because he was in a position that God had given him, which required that he stand with boldness and declare the Lord’s message.

God’s fire was smouldering inside Timothy but Paul realized that the flame needed fanning to grow into a roaring fire, enabling him to do the work for Jesus. So Paul laid hands on Timothy and asked for his gifts to grow and to allow Timothy the confidence he needed.

Paul did not stop there. When he was in prison he continued to help Timothy who was in Ephesus. He encourage him by way of letters. In one of those letters, Paul reminded Timothy of when he had laid hands on him and had asked God to strengthen and stir up the flames of Timothy’s gifts. (Scripture above)

2 Timothy 2:1 shows us another. “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”

These scriptures are only two of the twenty-five times when Paul encouraged Timothy to be bold in the Lord.

Today, many of us are no different than Timothy. Fear can stop us dead in our tracks.

As the Lord’s children, we are all given gifts from God. Sometimes they sit unused because we are fearful to use them. At those times we must remember that like Timothy, we need to stand strong while moving forward to complete our task. Fear is not of God, it is from the enemy!

Heavenly Father

I pray Lord that you would help me to use the wonderful gifts you have blessed me with.

Thank you Father God for making your strength available to me. By putting on the “Armour of God” daily you will give me the strength I need to get through all situations.

I know that fear is not something that you gave us Father. It is something that we encounter along our path in life. The enemy just loves to whisper in our ears and lead us in the wrong direction, making us doubt and worry. But prayer brings peace.

Thank you Father that when I am blinded by satan, my friends can recognize my situation (as Paul did with Timothy) and they encourage and pray for me.

Thank you for giving me the gift of compassion that I can in turn pray for others and help them to stand strong in their times of weakness.

Thank you Father for allowing me to be in a family of Godly friends. May I always be your servant on the lookout for ways to encourage others in their times of need, as Paul did for Timothy.

In the precious and holy name of Jesus Christ, I pray

Amen

Temptation – Psalms 141: 3-4

Psalms 141:

[3] Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
[4] Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties. (KJV)

Apparently David was worried about what we all should be worried about, our mouths and what we may say. Words are very important and can be used for good or bad. David is asking the LORD to watch over everything he says.

He must be heading into an area of idol worshippers. He is asking to stay strong in his faith and not let anyone or any type of thing to draw him away from the LORD.

The second thing that David prayed for was to not eat of the enemies dainties. It could be that David is asking that he be made aware of what he is being offered and asking that the LORD would watch that he not eat anything that has been set out before their idols.a4c63d63

Some authors felt that perhaps the dainties could mean the sins of the people he’s visiting. The sins are so small and delicate when offered. Sometimes they slip in unseen, but once accepted they grow in their wickedness. David didn’t want to inadvertently take on the sins of others, which can happen, so quickly and quietly, when we are in other’s company.

Father in Heaven,

Please watch over me as I intermix with non Christians. Keep me covered with the armour of God. Today our foods are not blessed by other idols but the gathering and what is said and done, can also work sin into my life. Let me be on the watch that I don’t participate in any of the ways that the enemy puts in front of me.

Father I ask in the name of Jesus, that you would watch over my mouth as you did with David. The words that come out of my mouth are very powerful with the opportunity to give both life and death. I sometimes forget just how powerful my words are and unfortunately I don’t keep a close enough watch on them. Gossip, criticism and judgement are the worst offenders and cause destruction. I ask you Father to please put a door, a safeguard, on my lips. Always let my words give life

Heavenly Father I thank you in the name of Jesus that you watch over me each and every day. Allow me to listen and obey the Holy Spirit as he leads me. Help me to keep my eyes and ears open for pitfalls and may I jump over them all. Give me the strength today and everyday to live for your glory.

Thank you Father. I praise your mighty name. You are the one and only and deserve my love and devotion.

In the name of Jesus, I pray.

Amen