“Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:18–21).
Today has been a particularly hard day. Pain levels vary, but today was more difficult. After being at our church and enjoying sweet fellowship with like-minded believers, we came home for lunch and a little rest. I asked the Lord to speak to my heart and turn my attention away from difficulties and give me something from His Word to strengthen my mind and heart. He directed me to these verses and I found immediate comfort and strength.
Paul used his prison cell to build expectations and hope. I must do the same with pain. What was his expectation? That he would have “full courage” to honor the Lord Jesus in his body. Whether he lived or died, it did not matter. The most important objective for Paul was the Lord’s honor. In fact, if Paul was going to continue living, it was going to be all about Christ. Even if his prison term ended in death, that would be “gain” for Paul because he would be with Christ in glory.
I have determined that this attitude must be mine. God may never take me out of this prison of pain, but whether he does or not makes no difference, I must live to the fullest for Christ and rejoice in the privilege of living this way for Him. Would you take this same attitude as yours?