Philippians 1: 21-30
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that my being with you again your joy in Christ will overflow on account of me.
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. When, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved–and that by God. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.
Although now in prison, Paul rejoices in knowing that the gospel is being preached. Paul is content whether his life is taken or if he is to remain in the body to continue in faith to produce fruit for Christ. Paul continues to encourage the believers at Philippi to stand firm in the faith without fear of any who oppose them knowing that God will save them. There is more to the gospel of Jesus the Christ than just to believe in him; sometimes we have to suffer as we stand firm in our faith. Even Christ learned obedience by the things that he suffered. Our struggles of life will humble us to where we will fully trust in God rather than ourselves if we do not give up. Rejoice and be glad knowing that all our struggles help us to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel.
Father forgive us when we center our attention on ourselves and become discouraged. Awaken us and fill us with your joy to be strengthened knowing that we will gain the reward of being like Christ. Help us to continue with faith knowing in all our struggles we can proclaim the good news of Christ to produce fruit as we stand firm in one spirit together. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.