For The Kingdom: Joy-Filled Living In Difficult Days | Day 41
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.” Philippians 2:14-18
Let’s face it, we complain and grumble when the fast-food restaurant forgets our “no pickles” order in the drive thru. We whine about insignificant inconvenience and find even the slightest of suffering to be distasteful. In essence, Paul’s instruction to “do all things without grumbling (complaining) or disputing (arguing)” is a parallel command with his earlier instruction to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.” (Philippians 2:3). We cannot “be glad and rejoice” (v. 18) if we are “complaining and arguing.” To do “all things” refers to everything, but it specifically refers to our service toward others and our suffering for Christ. The moments in our lives when we are most likely to complain or argue are the times when we must most be reminded to rejoice and be glad. When we choose gladness over complaining and rejoicing over arguing, we truly set ourselves apart from the evil culture around us. We cannot learn to rejoice until we develop…
A Kingdom perspective on Sacrifice and Suffering.
“Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.” Philippians 2:17
Paul completely changes our perspective in the way he describes his life and how we should view it. A shift in perspective takes place when we see the significance of the sacrifice. The only reason we call the day that Jesus died on the cross “Good Friday” is because we have come to understand how significant Christ’s sacrifice and suffering was to our salvation. Similarly, we can learn to rejoice in our own suffering when we see the significance of our calling. If our sacrifice can be used by God to point others to Christ and bring glory to His name, it gives great significance to our pain. Therefore, we do not pity or look down upon our brothers and sisters who are struggling for the cause of Christ because we see the great value in their suffering.
Do you ever consider how your life will be measured “in the day of Christ”? This is the day when we will stand before Christ and give an account of what we did with the life we were given and the Gospel treasure we were entrusted with. As Paul explains, all that he suffered and sacrificed in order to help others learn to “hold fast to the Word of life” would not be “in vain.” In the Kingdom, it is better to die for something than to live for nothing. While most of us will not be asked to die for the cause of Christ, we are all commanded to live for it. Any time we face resistance, endure struggle, give up our comfort, risk our reputation, or pour ourselves out like a sacrificial offering, we should embrace each moment with rejoicing, for we are joining ourselves with the suffering of Christ in a significant way.