St. Paul regularly had “problems” to say the least! Yet, God was in all of them — and God is in your problems as well. Take a look at his opening words in his letter to the Philippians — which was written while Paul was imprisoned in the “praetorium” of Herod the Great in Caesarea (see Acts 23:35) around 60 AD.
(1:7) … for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.
(1:12) I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. 14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
As Paul writes we ought to see these truths and take encouragement that:
• God is in the midst of the problem
• God is up to something in your problem
• God is up to something good
Read on to see more of God’s purposeful presence…
• God makes prayer more precious and powerful in the midst of trouble (see Phil. 1:4-11)
• God makes you an encouragement to other believers (see Phil. 1:14)
• God brings comfort and joy to those who seek Him even in the time of trouble (see Paul ‘rejoice’ at Phil. 1:4, 18 — and throughout this letter)
When troubles come, rather than raise the old question (“why me?”), remind yourself that God is right there with you — and aims to use it for your good and His glory.
Hi Pastor Dave, I really enjoyed this! I am a Religion major now at Liberty University and am presently studying The Book of Philippians as a way to get to know the Mind of Christ. We are using the book Living Out the Mind of Christ, Practical Keys to Discovering and Applying the Mind of Christ in Everyday Life by Dr. Ben Gutierrez. Wondering if you ever had the chance to read it and if so, what you thought. Hope you and the family are well. In Christ, Sara M.
Hi Sara, I don’t know of the book – but do know that Dr G is the head of the program at Liberty (but don’t know him personally). One of my favorite sets of study books/commentaries is “The Bible Speaks Today” series. published by InterVarsity Press. Some of the best stuff in print!
A great post, one we all would be wise to remember.
Thank you for the suggestion. Dean and I have been looking for some study materials. I took note and will check it out! Blessings, Sara
I thank God for you and this post. Philippians 1:9-11 is a great prayer for other brothers in Jesus Christ is it not Pastor?
In Philippians 1:1-11 I see Paul concerned with encouraging others in the middle of his own suffering. Just like Jesus being more concerned about our Heavenly Father forgiving those who were crucifying Him. He encouraged and saved the thief on the cross next to Him and also showed concern for the welfare of Mary his mother. He thought of others even while He was greatly suffering from the wrath of God for our sins! I pray that we may be able to do the same.