Philippians – Infectious Joy

by Janice

Paul is at his best. In chains, he triumphs. Imprisonment and torture have not weakened his spirit, but strengthened it as he joyfully shares the suffering of Christ and advances the gospel.

Reading Philippians is like retreating to the locker room at half time with a world class coach ready to empower his team. As the coach paces up and down the benches, looking deep into his players eyes, revealing his faith and confidence in them, his voice rises with emotion, “Not only are we not down team – we already have our victory! Let us claim it and rejoice! Our bruises, strains and agony are our strength. Keep your eyes fixed on the prize. It is ours!”

There is so much to love about Paul’s joyful letter to the church in Philippi – the book is packed with inspiration, teaching and insight. I look to it so often, memorizing the famous verses.

But for me, I find the book’s greatest power when I read it as a whole, hearing Paul’s energy as he encourages his beloved congregation. They have been faithful and they too will soon claim their prize. Paul has not been defeated by imprisonment and suffering and neither will they be defeated. Christ has already assured us the victory.

When I begin to lose perspective, with either too many good days or too many hard days, Philippians draws me back and gets me focused. Leading by example, through hardship and suffering, Paul shows us how to joyfully and sincerely follow Christ.

“Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!” Philippians 3:17-4:1

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Email Author    |    Website About Janice

Janice is co-founder of 5 Minutes For Mom. She's been working online since 2003 and is thankful her days are full of social media, writing and photography. You can see more of her photos at janicecrozephotography.com.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stacey July 31, 2006 at 5:24 pm

You have something that always brings you back to True North. :) Hebrews is like that for me.

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2 Rena July 31, 2006 at 9:13 pm

Just started Phillipians last night! Love it.

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3 Heather August 1, 2006 at 3:48 am

Paul has not been defeated by imprisonment and suffering and neither will they be defeated. Christ has already assured us the victory.

I loved that phrase! Christ has already assured us the victory, no matter what the hardships are in this life!

Great Great Great Entry!
Have a maw-va-lous day!
-H

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4 Christina August 1, 2006 at 8:02 am

Truly beautiful.

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5 eph2810 August 1, 2006 at 8:05 pm

Oh Janice, what a wonderful and powerful post. Thank you so much for sharing. I have to agree with you, Paul at his best by the power of the Holy Spirit…

I think I will do another study this fall on Philippians.

Thank you for your participation this week :razz:.

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6 Blair August 2, 2006 at 3:01 am

“When I begin to lose perspective, with either too many good days or too many hard days, Philippians draws me back and gets me focused.”

Amen! Philippians is like a summary of the gospel isn’t it.

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7 Chel August 2, 2006 at 8:50 am

And how wonderful for God to know that we would need His encouragement along our way… and to give us books like Philippians to do just that.

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8 e-Mom August 2, 2006 at 10:12 am

Well written! A good reminder to dive into Philippians again. Paul is certainly at his impassioned best in that book! Some people don’t like Paul (or find him difficult), but I really DO!

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9 Jennifer August 5, 2006 at 3:44 am

Wonderful post. I love how you really brought it home.

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