Phil. 1:12 And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News.
How do you view life’s events? As I was preparing for this Sunday, I realized that I did not see the Joy in everything that I was facing. I had lost my Joy. Over the past few years I have been struggling with an issue, thinking, how unfairly I have been treated. Did you see what I just wrote? “I”, “Me”. I lost my focus of seeing God in all this. My focus moved from God to me.
Paul was in prison. His living quarters were comfortable, for he was renting a house, but he still had one or more guards 24-7. He could not go shopping, visit friends, go to the market when he wanted to go. Oh yes people could come and visit with him, bring him things but he did not have the freedom to wander around wherever he wanted.
Prior to his coming to Rome, he had traveled to Jerusalem hoping to spend some time with the leaders of the Church. Paul wanted to share with them what God had done on his 3rd missionary journey. But certain Jews did their very best to see his downfall. They did not like Paul an Apostle to the Gentiles, preaching the Good News to the Gentiles. So these certain Jews sought to kill him and when they could not they sought to have the Roman elites kill him. And when we look back even further, look back through Paul’s life, we see Paul was abused on more than one occasion, beaten, whipped, stoned, left for dead and tossed in the lower dungeon. If one of more of these occurred to me, I might might have cried foul, throwing myself a huge pity party, speaking to God as how unfair I have been treated. Sound familiar?
Paul looked at life a bit different then the common man. Paul rises above the “Me” syndrome,
“I want to report to you, friends, that my imprisonment here has had the opposite of its intended effect. Instead of being squelched, the Message has actually prospered”. Phil. 1:12 Msg.
“Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord.” Phil. 3:1 NLT.
“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!” Phil. 4:4 NLT.
Too often we look at a bad day, a challenging time, a difficult relationship and “I” get in the way of seeing things from God’s perspective. We know when “I” get’s in the way for our focus is on “Me”. Paul writes this letter for the Philippians but God intends this letter for you and I. You see God wants us to refocus, God wants us to recorrect our perspective of our life, i.e. life is not all about “Me”, it is “All about God”.