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 beautiful letter that focuses on:

This is a feel-good letter that highlights Jesus as our perfect example 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, to be put to death, and to be with Jesus. Paul’s focus during his time of adversity is a powerful example to us all! Often it is what we do during the most difficult times in our lives that has the greatest impact on those around us.

Our focus verse for today’s lesson is:

“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.

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

It can be a powerful thing to watch somebody that is suffering continue to have hope and optimism. It is powerful because it is not what people usually do in these situations.

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

John wrote in his first epistle:

  • “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1:5.

As you study the book of Philippians, pay attention to the subject of humility.

Humility is defined as, “Genuine gratitude and lack of arrogance, a modest view of oneself.” One way to practice humility is to get in the practice of counting our blessings and giving thanks to God. Another way is to take the focus off ourselves and put it on God.

Jesus personified humility. In Mark 10:17, a man ran up to Jesus, knelt before Him, and asked Him:

  • “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

Before answering the man’s question, Jesus replied:

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

What an example of humility!

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.

The darker the situation, the brighter God’s light will shine.

When we seek to glorify God and not ourselves, our adversity can be used as a valuable tool to help bring others to Christ.

We will end today’s lesson with the following three scriptures:

  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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