Philippians | Day Seven
By: Taylor Flatt
Today we are picking up in the third chapter of Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi. Finally, Paul addresses his suffering. You may remember from Day One's study that Paul is writing this incredibly encouraging letter about joy from a prison cell. However, until now, he really hasn’t addressed the issue of suffering.
Read Philippians 3:1-11.
Paul has truly suffered the loss of nearly everything. He’s even lost his own freedom. I mean, he’s writing from a prison cell! Still, he doesn’t regret the things he lost. Instead, he counts all the things that he lost as rubbish. But how?
Read Philippians 3:12-16.
Hopefully, this is starting to sound familiar. Once again Paul is talking about his one goal, his prize: Jesus. The same is true for us as well. Our prize is living in the presence of Christ!
Living, truly living, is impossible apart from the presence of Christ in our lives. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can compare to living in the presence of Jesus.
This is what Paul means when he says that he counts all things as rubbish. He doesn’t literally mean all things are worthless, but that they can never come close to the value of Christ in our lives and the prize of knowing Him.
It’s this mindset that allows Paul to put suffering into perspective.
Read Philippians 3:10 again.
Paul knows that suffering isn’t without purpose. Sharing in Christ’s suffering means knowing Christ intimately and experiencing His presence.
Therefore, truly living doesn’t mean living without suffering. Truly living means valuing the presence of God in the midst of our suffering.
Life isn't always easy. At some point, all of us will walk through a hard season, but Paul sets a great example for us about how to walk through times of suffering--with the great purpose of knowing Christ more and to experience His presence.
As we end this time today, think about these questions. Pray and ask God to reveal to you more of who He is today!
Is it difficult to value Christ’s presence above all things? What are some things you find yourself valuing more than Him?
How have you experienced God in the midst of hard seasons?
How can you encourage a friend who is walking through a hard season today?