Philippians 1. Forum Discussion

Glorifying God in times of adversity

Chronologically, Philippians is the 10th of the 13 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 Christian unity, joy, peace, and encouragement. It is a feel-good letter that highlights Jesus as our perfect example in all things, with a concentration on His humility. Paul is at a pivotal point in his Christian walk. He is ready to stand trial and to die and be with Jesus if that is the outcome. How Paul acts and what he focuses on during his time of adversity is a wonderful 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.

Philippians 1:12-14 states:

“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.”

Let us pause and think about the following words written by Paul:

“Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel.” – Philippians 1:12.

Paul is saying that his pain and suffering help him spread the Gospel. That is not the way that most people think, 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, and instead of complaining, or focusing on his problems, he is thinking about how to use his situation to glorify God.

That is admirable.

It is a powerful thing to watch somebody that is suffering be optimistic about their faith and to talk openly about how God has blessed them. It is powerful because it is not what people in these situations usually do.

As it says in John 1:5:

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Over the course of the next 3 days, as we progress through our study on the book of Philippians, we will turn our focus to the subject of humility.

Humility is defined as, “Genuine gratitude and lack of arrogance, a modest view of one’s self.” One way to practice humility is to get in the practice of counting our blessings and thanking God for them. 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!

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 difficult times in our lives.

The darker the situation, the brighter God’s light will shine. When we seek to glorify Him and not ourselves, our adversity can help spread the gospel.

Thank you for joining us today. Please join us again tomorrow as we look at Philippians 2 and the humility of Jesus. May God’s blessings be upon you until then. Amen



We can glorify God by being obstinate optimistic


Optimistic is the keyword here. That is the result of joy, which is the result of faith in God which is a result of believing his promises. Let’s be optimistic and others will want to know why we have this hope.




Though I believe we all yearn to be back, physically that is, with the body, the church, our example in how we conduct ourselves in person and especially social media, is another form of glorifying God. Personally it is more of a positive approach (thank you Dan) than that of, for better lack of term, a preachy focus.