Krishna has been a Christian since birth. She has devoted a time every day learning the Bible and strengthening her relationship with God.
Philippians is written by Paul around A.D. 61, during his imprisonment in Rome. It is said to be the happiest part of the Bible, yet it is made in prison. The apostle Paul did not write Philippians in response to a crisis (as he did with Galatians and Colossians). Instead, he wrote the book to express his appreciation and affection for the Philippian believers.
Paul’s joy at the mere thought of the church is undeniable in the letter, and it’s that same joy that he wanted the recipients to possess as well.
My prayer for you is that you will overflow more and more with love for others, and at the same time keep on growing in spiritual knowledge and insight, for I want you always to see clearly the difference between right and wrong, and to be inwardly clean, no one being able to criticize you from now until our Lord returns. May you always be doing those good, kind things that show you are a child of God, for this will bring much praise and glory to the Lord.
— Philippians 1:9-11 Living Bible (TLB)
Living for Christ
There are many times in our lives where we experience nothing but pain, suffering, and crisis. The world doesn't always bring us great joy and blessings. We must admit that life doesn't always go as we plan - our health deteriorates, society's discrimination continues to thrive, respect for humanity weakens day by day, and fame and fortune continue to dominate the news in the world. In times of crisis, men strive to be alive and want for personal gains become more evident.
What do we do when everyone seems to do the things that benefit themselves the most? Where do we gain approval when no one compliments us when we do something Christ-like? Is it okay to blindly follow the authority even when their belief opposes what we should in the presence of God? Is it alright to continue to suffer for Christ?
For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for Him. We are in this struggle together.
— Philippinans 1:29-30
Philippians tell us that living is not to impress nor gain recognition from others. Living is a privilege given to us, whether we experience pain or suffering, as a means of offering to Christ. It reminds us that we are not alone in our sufferings, but trust and believe that there are believers all over the world, that believes that we can find joy in having the attitude shown by Christ.
Seek not to satisfy the materialistic need of the world, instead shine brightly for Christ for it is only with Him that we can experience salvation. Also, do not give up living. Continue to live amid the sufferings, for it is through living that we can better fulfill our purpose and be able to shed light to others.
"For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don't know which is better. I'm torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live."
- Philippians 1:21-24
Pressing Toward The Goal
Philippians teaches us to look at what is ahead, and focus on the things that we need to achieve. We may be suffering now, but what's in store for us in the future will be greater and better. It is implied that whatever progress you may have achieved at the moment is always worth celebrating no matter how small it is.
No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
— Philippians 3:13-14
Words of Encouragement
Philippians remind us about the joy that does not depend upon external circumstances because it is rooted in Jesus Christ who gives it freely. It gives us encouragement and strength to live brightly as we have the priceless value of knowing Christ. It reminds us to do the things that will keep us anchored on serving the Lord even through crises and sufferings. For it is only with the Lord, that we could find true joy and satisfaction in the rightful things that we do.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
- Philippians 4:4-7
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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
— Philippians 4:8-9
© 2020 Krishna