Philippians 1 Lesson

Glorifying God During Times Of Adversity


Chronologically, Philippians is the tenth of the thirteen epistles written by the Apostle Paul.  

It was written in 62 AD and is the fourth and final “prison epistle” written by Paul while he was under house arrest in Rome (Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon being the other three).  

Philippians is a beautifully written letter that focuses on four virtues that we should all strive to have more of in our lives:

  1. Unity,
  2. Joy,
  3. Peace,
  4. Encouragement.  

The Book of Philippians is a feel-good letter that highlights the perfect example of Jesus in all things, especially His humility.  

As Paul writes this letter, he is at a pivotal point in his Christian walk.  

He is ready to stand trial, be put to death, and be with Jesus in Heaven.  

He also feels a responsibility to keep teaching and edifying the brethren that he has come to love and care for.  


Paul’s unwavering commitment to glorify God and serve others during times of adversityis an example that we can all learn from.  

Often it is what we do during the most difficult times in our lives that can have the greatest impact on those around us.     

As you read the following scripture, pay attention to Paul’s priorities and the pureness of his heart:

  • “Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel,so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear.” – Philippians 1:12-14.

What does Paul mean when he says that his circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel?

He means that all his pain and suffering have helped him spread the Gospel.

That may seem peculiar to us, and that is the point!

Paul’s behavior is not ordinary, it is extraordinary! 

Paul is in prison, waiting to find out if he is going to be sentenced to death.   Instead of complaining, or focusing on his problems, he is thinking about others, and ways to glorify God!  

How beautiful the world would be if everybody had Paul’s heart!

It is a powerful thing to watch somebody that is suffering continue to have hopein Jesus.   It is powerful because it is not what we usually see people do in these situations.   As Christians, our light shines brightest in times of darkness! (John 1:5)    

During times of adversity, if we continue to have faith and put our trust in Jesus, others will take notice, and God will be glorified.  


As we study the book of Philippians, we should be on the lookout for examples of humility that we can put into practice in our own lives.  

Humility is defined as:

  • “Genuine gratitude and lack of arrogance, a modest view of oneself.” (Source:  

One way to practice humility is to get in the habit of counting our blessings and giving thanksto God on a daily basis.  

Another is to take the focus off ourselves and put it on God.


Jesus personified humility!  

In Mark’s Gospel, we read the story of a man that ran up to Jesus, knelt before Him, and asked Him:

  • “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” – Mark 10:17.

Before answering the man’s question, Jesus replied:

  • “Why do you call Me good?   No one is good except God alone.” – Mark 10:18.

Jesus is the unblemished Lamb of God!  

He is the Savior of the world and the Son of God!  

Jesus had every right to boast in all that He was doing, and yet He remained humble and asked us to do the same.


We can glorify God during times of adversity by taking the focus off ourselves and putting it on God.  

With a thankful and sincere heart, God’s light can shine through us, even during the most challenging times of our lives.  

It is in these most difficult circumstances that our light shines the brightest and can have the most influence on those around us.    

If we can struggle, and at the same time remain focused on glorifying God and serving others, others will take note of our perseverance, and be encouraged themselves!

We will end today’s lesson with the following three scriptures.   They highlight the importance of glorifying God in everything that we do.   Whether in good times or in bad:

  1. “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all things for the glory of God.” - 1 Corinthians 10:31,
  2. “Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.” - Mathew 5:16,
  3. I will give thanks to you, Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forever." - Psalm 86:12.


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1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?


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It made me feel a sense of comfort, knowing that no matter what circumstances i am given in life, i will always have God.
This lesson also made me really think on the fact that how we as Christians play such an important role in glorifying the Lord in our MOST difficult battles so that others may also see the great works of the Lord. Lastly, it also made me take a step back to remember to shift my focus back onto God when i feel like i'm worrying to much about "myself".
Sending many blessings to everyone!

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Great comments DaisyDukes. Thank you for sharing!


Thank you, Daisy. It is so easy to lose focus during difficult times. It is encouraging to know that I can be of service to the Lord during those times through humbleness and a thsnkful heart.

Virtual Bible Study™

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?


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1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel? I need to give Glory to God in everything I do and when things happens; good or bad. I feel, know, I don’t give glory to God all the time.

2) What questions do you have? As I have gotten older, my memory and attention span has decreased tremendously. Other than writing and leaving notes, what other ways can I do to remind myself to give glory to God all the time?

3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life? Find ways to remind myself, until it becomes a habit, to give glory to God.

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Great thoughts KP. Thank you for sharing. One thing that can be done is to begin everyday with a prayer and end each day in prayer.

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Today's Bible Study helped me to remember to continue to seek and glorify God during my most difficult times and to rely on his strength to get me through it. I can apply what I've learned through how I deal with my children, relationships, and job. Trust that God will bring me out or through it.