Philippians 1:18c – 20 reveals a pattern for humility that is closely connected with our capacity to experience joy in difficult and trying times.
In fact, humility goes hand in hand with joy.
How does humility increase our capacity for joy?
Humility enables us to thank Him for the situation we find ourselves in. Paul wrote in v18c that he would “continue to rejoice” in his situation, no matter what.
On another occasion he wrote to “be joyful always…in everything give thanks…” (1 Thess.5:16-18).
Throughout the first chapter of Philippians, Paul’s commitment to thanking God for everything is a dominant theme.
Receiving from God what He gives us is also another hallmark of humility. In verses 19-20a, Paul tells his readers he is “craning his neck” with anticipation about the fact that God will not let him down in his current circumstances.
In fact, Paul willingly accepts whatever God has before him – life or death – he receives it from Him with the strong desire to glorify the Lord he loves and serves.
The final characteristic of humility is to live it out.
“No matter what” says Paul, “live or die, I want to glorify Jesus!” (Phil.1:20b)
When we find ourselves in situations that overwhelm and threaten our joy, the following prayer is a good place to start:
Father, thank you for this situation. I receive it from You and I ask that You will help me to live it. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
The situation won’t necessarily be fixed, but you will have taken a long stride down the path to joy!
Blessings to you!
Pastor Rob Furlong.