But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
More About Philippians 1:18b-26
Written by Denise Pass (First 5 Ministries)
It’s been said that we would not have a testimony had we not first had a test. Tests are not something we desire to go through. Yet what God can achieve in us through testing is beautiful. Like Paul, James revealed that joy could be found in times of testing. “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:2-4). This joy was in what God accomplished in the fire, and also in the rewards to come for faithfulness in times of testing. (James 1:12) Sometimes joy hides behind life’s struggles. But those who are willing to seek God in the midst will find joy unending.
Prayer: Dear God, please help me to see past the struggles of this life so I can recognize the purpose of my life is not to avoid struggles, but to embrace them as opportunities to represent you to the world. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Journal Prompt: Struggles can be a stumbling block leading to discouragement or a stepping stone toward joy. How do you tackle problems in your life?