Troubles that Confront Us

November 29, 2016

Philippians 1:19-24

…for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.d 20I 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. 21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22If 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! 23I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.

Troubles that Confront Us

Throughout life, those near us or ourselves personally, are touched by tragedy, disappointments, hardship, setbacks, hurts, sickness and trials of various kinds.  If we don’t have a revelation of what our life purpose is we can become discouraged, bitter, unforgiving and even blame God for what touches our life or the lives of those around us.  Paul gives us a perspective here of a life that is lived and dedicated to Christ.  No matter what adversity befalls him, Paul has one goal and purpose.  His life, he does not consider his own, but Christ’s and the life he now lives, he lives by faith, not for himself, but for Christ who died and gave Himself for Paul.  Whether in life or death, Paul’s life is about living for Christ and fulfilling his purpose in Him.  We all need to get a greater revelation of how Paul lived his life.  Most of us still see our lives as being mostly about us.  In that place of giving life to self there will always be things that we are struggling with that will touch us through our emotions, feelings, mind and will.  Things that we struggle with because we are rationalizing them with the natural mind and understanding.  For the person that is truly dead in Christ all that really matters is that Christ is fully living through them.  Rather good or bad, it His will and destiny that directs their lives and gives them the purpose for living and being.  The body and earthly life are but a tool in the hand of God to work His greater work and will through.  We are the callused hands of His working in the earth to make a difference in the lives of those He touches through us.  We are also the gentle touch of compassion and grace that leads others to repentance.  We are His precious hands and feet to bring the kingdom of God into the earth and we do that as He lives and has expression through us.  The more of self that is in the way, the more of that purpose is hindered and His true nature is polluted.  

Bad things do happen to good people,  Bad things happened to Jesus, the Son of God and bad things can happen to us.  It is not the bad things that happen that define our life, but rather the goodness of the God that lives within us.  We don’t always see the ultimate and long-term purposes of God.  The disciples couldn’t see the purpose and goodness of God when Jesus was crucified.   When, we, like Jesus are willing to pour out our lives for others then we can have assurance that God will take the seed of sacrifice that we planted and bring forth a harvest.  Let us not be so concerned about this current life, but rather living out of the eternal life that inhabits us.  Fear God and not the things you may suffer, for as Paul says in Romans 8:18, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”  All of this is the preparation for the revelation of the sons of God who will set creation free.  Our rest is in our death and His life, so when this life is spent it only gives place to a greater place of glory. It is not the physical death that we must fear, it is the spiritual life or death with which we must be concerned.  The purpose of our life is to perpetuate that spiritual life.  No matter what confronts us we live out of His life and not our physical strength and being or natural understanding. 

Blessings,

#kent

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