Philippians 1:6-8

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And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6-8 (ESV)

We are still in the opening greeting Paul gives in this letter and we read one of the top Bible verses for encouragement and endurance in vs 6. “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” However, let’s focus on the sentiment of this whole passage and explore a set of daily principles for Christians to live out this encouragement.

Here are three things (there are too many to write) we can learn from Paul within this passage:

Believe Big Things For Others

The context is that Paul was in prison for at least two years and had some liberties while imprisoned, but still a prisoner. It is easy to believe in and encourage others when you are free from trials and sacrifice. Believing for others is actually a God-given survival mechanism, you focus less on you and more on Him to give you the words of life for others.

Perhaps you are going through a loss or financial struggle? You pray for your friends, family, and people you barely know to be blessed financially and that they would benefit from great life-giving relationships. It may seem draining and lackluster at the moment for you, but God will give you divine strength to believe for others and furthermore, give you strength to rise above the struggle you are in.

Celebrate Victories and Blessings of Others

This is where it gets really tough for a Christian who is in a trial. Paul mentions how the Philippians are “partakers” of grace during his imprisonment and the spread of the gospel. So Paul explains why he can pray and believe God will be faithful to them. It is when a bound man can celebrate the freedom of another man while still in chains. This is a powerful principle, and we are not talking about bondage (sin), instead, blessing and favor.

Maybe you have been hunting for a job promotion, you need the money, you feel like you deserve it. You have been praying for a colleague at work who works under you for some breakthrough in their life. The announcement of the promotion at a company meeting reveals your colleague gets the promotion. Would you respond in celebration? The pain of the let down does exist, and we do not muster some fake resolve to hi-five our colleague. We realize our answered prayer and need is just that much closer to being revealed.

Give Encouragement When It Hurts The Most

You wake up in the morning and feel down, you sense you might be at your lowest point in a long time. You can go forward with the daily routine or send an encouragement to the first person that comes to mind. When I am weak, He is strong (2 Cor. 12:10). Does that person deserve encouragement more than you do? The answer to that question often displays our Christian maturity and willingness. When you lift someone else up while in the pit, you allow God to be your way out.

2 Comments
  • John

    Reply

    When reading Philippians recently I recalled that the Philippian Church began because Paul and Silas were in jail for doing God’s work. If not for the Philippian jail experience there might not have been a Philippian Church and then we would not have the inspired words of the letter to that Church.

    • jmoran77

      Absolutely John! The miraculous episode is read in Acts 16 (slave girl delivered, them thrown in jail, earthquake, they stay in jail and witness, people get saved). An incredible start of a church.

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