Joy in My Faithful Witness
Back in February, I began teaching through the book of Philippians with our church in a series called Joy, Unleashed. We spent two weeks looking at chapter one, and unpacking what joy is and two areas of our lives that should bring us joy. Little did I (or any of us, for that matter) know that when we resumed our look at the letter of Paul to the church at Philippi, our lives would be so radically different. February seems like a distant memory from years gone by. So much has happened between then and now, and it seems as if the situation and the surrounding struggles are here to stay for a while longer.
But still, God is sovereign. It’s evident that having him lead us to this book, at this time, was intentional. For many of us, joy can seem like a mirage, or a fairy tale of sorts. With the stress, anxiety, loneliness, loss, uncertainty that surrounds so many of us, is living with joy even possible?
In many ways, we have more in common with the apostle Paul than we might realize. Yet, even as he faced great difficulty and struggle, his joyful perspective on all that he faced radiates off the page. Joy, supernatural delight, IS possible, in even the most difficult of circumstances. I’m looking forward to being with you this weekend, whether online or in the room and I’m praying that God’s Word will hit the mark for us, wherever we’re at.
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Joy in my faithful witness
July 19, 2020
As a faithful witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ, I must fulfill the kingdom-building work he has for me.
1. Commit courageously (v. 18b–20)
If Christ can be magnified through the unflinching fearlessness of believers, he can be shamed through their cowardice.
- David Garland
2. Surrender sacrificially (v. 21–24)
2 Corinthians 4:10
During that epidemic of cholera, though I had many engagements in the country, I gave them up that I might remain in London to visit the sick and the dying. I felt that it was my duty to be on the spot in such a time of disease and death and sorrow.
- Charles Spurgeon
3. Prioritize purposefully (v. 25–26)
Lord, it belongs not to my care whether I die or live;
to love and serve thee is my share, and this thy grace must give.
If life be long, I will be glad, that I may long obey;
if short, yet why would I be sad to welcome endless day?
Christ leads me through no darker rooms
than he went through before;
He that unto God’s kingdom comes, must enter through that door.
Come Lord, when grace hath made me meet thy blessed face to see;
For if thy work on earth be sweet, what will thy glory be!
Then I shall end my sad complaints and weary sinful days
And join with the triumphant saints that sing my Saviour’s praise;
My knowledge of that life is small, the eye of faith is dim;
But ‘tis enough that Christ knows all, and I shall be with him.
- Richard Baxter