PHILIPPIANS‬ ‭1‬:‭3‬-‭6‬ ‭‬‬

“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

Philippians‬ ‭1‬:‭3‬-‭6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Paul had every reason to pray about people rather than to pray for people. Here we see the difference between a matured Christian and the majority of Christian culture. Paul says that he prays with joy. This should not be confused with praying with happiness. This letter is obviously a serious and solemn treatise. It has concerns, struggles and an agenda. It’s not an elated conversation. And yet, joy is at its foundation. This joy is connected to a deep understanding of a significant reality. Paul knows that trials and suffering have a purpose. He is convinced that part of the gospel message is the follow through of God in telling his triumphant story. This means that any suffering can be counted as joy because it will eventually bring glory in the end. This means that any difficulties of immaturity and growth can be viewed as more than annoyance. Paul can know for certain that God has a plan. This allows him to live with certainty and not be dismayed by the journey to Christian maturity completely. Unfortunately, this dismay is ever encroaching on the church worker. It is easy to pray for those we love without joy. We must remember who God is, rather than the power of those we love. God’s power is much more capable than our human efforts. We should remember this when we think of others.

Published by Josh McGary

MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy.

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