Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Facing the Trial

Devotion: Philippians 1:18d-26

As the Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians he was sitting in prison awaiting a trial that could very well result in his death. So, to the modern reader, it will seem very curious that he begins this discussion of his upcoming trial with joy. The Apostle is taking the time to ask the Philippians to pray for him and certainly we too should seek out the prayers of others when we will face trials of our faith, yet it is not the prayers but the result of those prayers that truly helps us through trials in our life. What the Apostle needs and what we all need is the Holy Spirit supplied to us through the gracious hand of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The Apostle is not looking to avoid the time of trial, indeed far from it! He is asking, instead, that Christ is honored in him. Now, in Paul's day honor was everything to men and to be disgraced was more than an insult. Trials at the time were not just about establishing guilt, but also about retaining honor. The Apostle here is moving counter to the culture in that he cares not for his own honor (what others think of him), but only for Christ. This counter-cultural worldview gave the Apostle tremendous freedom in the ancient world. He was not constrained with care for the self at all, trusting himself completely into the hands of Christ no matter what would befall him. This is why the Apostle can look at so serious a matter as death and come away without fear. Indeed, the Apostle wrote:
"For me to live is Christ, and to dies gain." -Philippians 1:21
Much like Job longed for his day in the divine court, the Apostle longed for his day in Caesar's court that he may testify to Christ. Actually, in 1:19, the Apostle quotes Job 13:16, and this may mean that the Apostle is alluding to the whole of Job's comments in Job 12-14
When we face trials in this life we are called to stand for Christ. Too often we try to escape the trial, but the Apostle here is giving us a different way. God, in the Holy Spirit, strengthens us to endure and to give glory to Christ. In this way, no matter the outcome, we know our victory in trial is secure.
The trials will come, will you be faithful to stand for Christ? Ask for prayer and receive the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ and you will.

Shout Outs

The shout out this week goes to Don and Lyn Pearce for heading up the Pray Washington 24/7 effort here at CPC. For the first time we have all hours of the day covered. Thanks to everyone for joining together in prayer!

News and Events

  • On Saturday at 11 a.m. we will join the Lamb family in both grieving the death of Jane Lamb and in taking our comfort in the hope we have in Christ Jesus.
  • During worship Sunday Dave Bishop will be sharing with us his mission trip experience. This is something you do not want to miss!

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