I Will Rejoice: Being Confident of Your Deliverance. (Phil. 1:19)

     Yesterday we looked at Philippians 1:18, and we determined that, despite Paul being in a horrific situation, he nevertheless, chose to rejoice. We concluded then, that rejoicing while suffering is a purposeful, conscious and deliberate choosing on our part. Let's ask this question: Why did Paul make the purposeful, conscious and deliberate choice to rejoice?

   To answer this question let's look at Philippians 1:19. Paul states, "for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance." Observe what is underlined: "for I know....this will turn our for my deliverance." The word "for" means because, so when you combine this with Phil. 1:18, what you get is this: "...Yes, and I will rejoice, because I know...this will turn out for my deliverance."

   So, why did Paul make the conscious and deliberate choice to rejoice? Paul understood what was happening to him would turn out for his deliverance. Just as Paul was very much aware of the situation that was facing him, he was also very much aware of the conclusion - deliverance. It is unsure among theologians whether Paul means deliverance from prison or deliverance as in being with Christ. Regardless, what gave him confidence in his imprisonment is that either way, no matter how his imprisonment resulted, it would only lead to his salvation. Whether he died in prison or whether he was released from prison, Paul understood that no matter what happened, it would lead to his redemption.

  This same attitude applies to us today. When you are certain of the conclusion, it makes choosing to rejoice in your moment of suffering all the more easier. When you live with the hope of Jesus in your life and are certain of the outcome of the hope you have, regardless of the situation, you can choose to rejoice. However, if you are uncertain of what your eternal future holds, if you are uncertain of the hope you have in Christ, then, it will prove difficult to choose to rejoice. Choosing to rejoice in a moment of pain comes down to your confidence in Christ.

   Secondly, Paul knew that this would turn out for his deliverance, not only because of his confidence in Jesus, but also because of the prayers of the church. He stated, "for I know that through your prayers...this will turn our for my deliverance." Prayer is the most important and effective action one Christian can do for another. I believe that I can give an encouraging word or lend a helping hand, but the most powerful and effective action I can take on behalf of another is to intercede for them. I believe this because I know God can do for other's so much more than myself can. If you know someone afflicted, the most powerful and effective action for you to take is prayer.

   Lastly, Paul knew that this would turn out for his deliverance because of the Holy Ghost. Paul mentions, "for I know that through... the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance." The Holy Spirit is a Helper. It is what He does. When we are weak, God lavishes upon us His Spirit (Gal. 3:5, Rom. 8:26). So, for Paul, what gave him confidence, in addition to being confident in the conclusion is, he knew the Spirit of God was helping him in his time of weakness. If you're suffering as a Christian, I pray this gives you hope: The Spirit of Jesus will be generously be poured out onto you in your moment of weakness. And I know that there are times, in our suffering, that we feel lonely, but take heart! God has not abandoned you, you're not invisible to Jesus and the Spirit of Jesus is with you!

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