Philippians 1 Lesson

Glorifying God During Times Of Adversity

INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF PHILIPPIANS

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 while Paul was under house arrest in Rome (Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon being the other three).  

Philippians is a beautiful letter that focuses on the following 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. He also feels a responsibility to keep teaching and edifying the brethren that he has come to love and care for.

GLORIFYING GOD DURING TIMES OF ADVERSITY

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, written by the Apostle Paul, 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?

Paul is saying that 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 how to glorify God! How beautiful the world would be if everybody had Paul’s heart!

Paul’s love for the Lord is a wonderful example for us to try and emulate.    It is also a great way to evangelize.    

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 the darkness! (John 1:5)

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

HUMILITY

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: christianity.com)  

One way to practice humility is to get in the habit of counting our blessings and giving thanksto God every day.   Another is to take the focus off ourselves and put it on God.

THE HUMILITY OF JESUS

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 for us, and yet He remained humble and asks us to do the same

CONCLUSION

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, we can choose to let God’s light shine in 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 edified 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.

Comments

Daffney

When we are weak, he is strong! There is so much each and every person can be thankful for. Especially on the midst of a storm. Some think that we are only blessed if we have a lot materially or monetarily. People fail to realize that health is a blessing, peace is a blessing, being able to get up and walk is a blessing. God is good! Thank you for your grace and mercy!!

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Daffney

When we are weak, he is strong! There is so much each and every person can be thankful for. Especially on the midst of a storm. Some think that we are only blessed if we have a lot materially or monetarily. People fail to realize that health is a blessing, peace is a blessing, being able to get up and walk is a blessing. God is good! Thank you for your grace and mercy!!

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John B.
Daffney

Amen!

Reply
Faye
Daffney

AMEN!!

Reply
Dan

Counting one's blessings and taking focus off of oneself is great advice.

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