A Passage and A Prayer 2/1/19

21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again (Philippians 1:21-26).

Paul struggled.  Like you and me, he struggled in many ways.  He talked about struggling with sin as he did those bad things he didn’t want to do and didn’t do the good things he wanted to do.  He called himself a “wretched man” (Romans 7:24).

Paul also struggled concerning where to live.  It wasn’t about choosing between Jerusalem or Rome.  Paul struggled between wanting to go to heaven and carrying out his ministry on earth. 

Paul held the great promise of heaven.  Even though Paul’s life was littered with gross sin, he longed for the perfection in heaven that Christ promised to those who believe in Him.

Have you ever been there?  Have you longed for the perfections of heaven?  Perhaps it was excruciating physical pain, or emotional stress, or battles with addiction, or spiritual angst.

Think about this—even the best day on earth cannot compare to heaven!

Paul did come to the realization that the Lord had plans for him in this world.  Paul understood that he was saved to serve.  So are we.  Even in the most difficult of days we are called to be witnesses of Christ and His compassion.  As we move through the challenges of life we give witness to others as we employ or God-given faith, trusting in the Lord’s will and His joy of using all things together for good in our lives even if we cannot make sense of life.

If life is giving you some challenges, take a moment to pray.  Ask the Lord for patience.  Pray for strengthened faith.  Request a clear vision as to how you can use the situation to live your faith as a witness to those around you.

God is good.  He does not cause our troubles but does transform them into faith-building opportunities and moments of witness.

Lord, I am challenged by the trials and troubles of this life.  I humbly ask that You give me a strong faith that I may continue to rely on You.  I pray that Your will would be accomplished, even through my difficulties.  Help me to be a witness to my family and friends at all times and in every situation.  I pray this in Your powerful name, Jesus.  Amen.


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