Good Evening to All!
The picture to the left depicts a man with a "broken spirit" being comforted by the Holy Ghost. For God to FULLY work in our lives, we must be of a broken spirit and yield to Him.
Bible Seeds Devotional for Growing in God's Word
Today's Seed: "for it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for Him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have."
There's something comforting about discovering that someone has experienced what we are going through--whether it's moving to a different state or dealing with cancer. The closer their situation is to ours the more we feel drawn to him or her. The best comfort usually comes from people whose lives have been touched by similar circumstances.
Paul reminded the Philippians that he had gone through what they were facing--persecution for being a Christian. In fact, he was sitting in prison because of his faith. They probably had heard that Paul was in prison, and they may have been worried about him. This letter would have put their fears to rest. Paul was managing well. He was not depressed==in fact, he was joyful and confident.
Paul's attitude could encourage his readers. Even if the conflict with Paul's enemies was fierce, even if he had fears, the Philippians could follow Paul's excellent example. And so can we.
Dig Deeper: The Greek language uses one word, agon, for "the same struggle." Paul uses this word in other letters to describe hardships, conflicts, and much contention. The English word "agony" comes from this root.
Weed & Water: Our salvation is a gift. According to this seed, our being chosen to suffer for Christ's sake is also a gift. Since such suffering is a gift, it implies the presence of a Giver in charge of designing and delivering the gift to the recipient. And that means God has complete charge of our circumstances. There is purpose and meaning behind our hardships.
Sprout & Scatter: All true believers are involved in the same conflict that caused hardships for Paul and the Philippians. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we are fighting against the forces of evil. Some of us have tougher struggles and face more persecution than the rest of us. But regardless of those differences, we can be united by the same grace that saves us all.
When we are in the midst of agony, it's hard to think about others, but others are watching us. How we handle the difficulty, regardless of what it is, can be an encouragement or a stumbling block. We can comfort others with the comfort we receive from kneeling before Christ and pouring out our hearts to him. We can point others to Christ and His love. Sometimes, I feel like the picture to the right is how I handle my struggles. I tend to forget mine are nothing compared to what Christ went through, and even those similar struggles, He handled much better than I.
Think about it: How would receiving Paul's letter have comforted the Philippians?
How do you feel when you think of persecution for Christ's sake as a gift?
Prayer Pot: Lord, I am in agony about...
Christ allows us to be broken, so we may be bound together
with others in the unity of love for God.
Good Night All and May God Bless