4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:4-8)
I’m not sure about you, but until recently, I always heard verses 6 and 8 from this passage as separate, largely unrelated commands. But of course here they are, back to back, separated only by verse 7. Could that be because part of the solution to our anxiety is found in what we’re choosing to think about?
Based on common sense and our collective experience working...
For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (Philippians 3:18-21)
“Everything [is] under his control.” What a glorious truth to cling to this morning.
God is in control of our health.
He is in control of our economy.
He is in control of our work.
And while we may not know or understand His plans, all throughout Scripture, He has proven Himself to be faithful and sovereign, working all things for His glory and the ultimate “good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28).
One day, we will see the ultimate culmination...
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:1-8)
Last week, we looked at Philippians 1 and how Paul used his time of isolation to “advance the...
Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear. (Philippians 1:12-14)
Isolation through imprisonment was not a part of Paul’s plans.
At first glance, his imprisonment must have looked like a disruption to his attempts to spread the gospel through his work as a tentmaker and preacher. But Paul stated very clearly that “what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.”
How? As verse 13 makes clear, the gospel was able to shine precisely because it gave Paul an opportunity to show that, regardless of circumstances, he was ultimately “in chains for Christ,” willingly shackled to the sovereignty of God.