Experience silence in the midst of your busy day. Take some time to relax into a time to be with God.
Philippians 1:20-30 (NRSV)
It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be put to shame in any way, but that by my speaking with all boldness, Christ will be exalted now as always in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.
Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well— since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
No one wants to suffer, but Paul was no stranger to it and those believers in Philippi to whom he was writing weren’t strangers to it either. Paul wrote to remind them that Christ himself suffered. Paul also reminded them that they needed to stand firm and united in their belief in Christ, which would give them the ability to withstand the trials they were facing.
We are not to be intimidated by those who would work against us and our efforts to share the gospel, but to look forward to what is promised to those who believe. Paul referred to it as “living our life in a manner worthy of the gospel.”
As I write, untold numbers of Christians in various parts of the world are facing torture and death because of their faith. They have been uprooted from their homes and some lose their families. We must not forget them. In our lives of relative comfort may we hear God’s call to compassion toward those who suffer. May we see in them the face of Christ, who suffered for us.
God of grace and compassion, we pray for those who face suffering and death because of their faith you. Give strength to your church and enable her to bear witness to the gospel in the face of opposition. Be gracious to our sisters and brothers. Protect them, if possible, and grant them courage in the midst of their persecution. We pray these things for the sake and glory of the name of your son, Jesus. Amen.
Go with God.