Paul writes these verses, not from the comfort of his home; but from a prison cell. This writer of most of the New Testament has learned to be content, no matter where or no matter what. Read his proclamation in Philippians 4:
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
Paul is able to encourage the Philippians to pour out love and be filled with the fruit of righteousness; even when he finds himself hungry and sitting in a filthy, jail cell. How is he able to think of others; in spite of his own degradation?
Paul is gospel focused.
He counts his circumstances as nothing and proclaims they have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel. He refers to his imprisonment three times. This truth teller shares the benefits of his imprisonment.
Philippians 1: 7 Paul is imprisoned for the defense of the gospel and the Philippians are partakers of the grace (poured out on him even in prison.) These dear brothers in Christ were praying for Paul and continuing in the spread of the gospel.
Philippians 1:13-14 Paul encourages the Philippians that his imprisonment in the cause of Christ had become well known through out the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else. Here’s the most amazing part: Because of his imprisonment; most of the brethren have “far more courage to speak the word of God without fear.”
Hard to believe that persecution brought courage to the brethren.
Philippians 1:17 Rather than being distressed over his own horrible circumstances; Paul was distressed that some were proclaiming Christ out of selfish ambition versus pure motives.
Paul looked at every circumstance as God ordained. The three above proclamations prove that Paul looked at every circumstance as an opportunity to further the gospel. We must do the same dear brother or sister in Christ; no matter how uncomfortable our circumstances. “We must not be ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power unto salvation.”
Prayer in Motion:
Oh God, may I long for the progress of the gospel. Forgive me for being a comfort seeking Christian. It’s not about me. It’s about You, Lord Jesus. You are the hope of the world. Help me to look into the faces of those You have given me; and tell them the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In Your Name i pray. Amen