3 More days…hang in there and finish strong!
Daily Devotional – Day 19
“Keeping it in Perspective”
Read: Philippians 2:1-4; 4:4
The Apostle Paul wrote the book of Philippians from jail and still he had a great view of joy of life. He could have complained in his writings about his circumstances. Can you imagine the living conditions? He, most likely, was chained to a prison guard, had little spoiled food, experienced beatings and punishment and much more. No sunlight and infestations of rats and lice were probable. Isolation, fear, worry, abandonment, death were constantly before him. But his true joy came from the Lord, not his conditions. He tells the church of Philippi his joy would be made complete by their unity, love, and selflessness (Philippians 2:1-4). Paul found joy in the church being the church and not in his conditions being changed.
Paul’s perspective is needed in our day. There’s so much to complain about. Even if the circumstances are real and seem worthy of gripe we must remember to be like Paul and “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). Our prayers should be focused on God’s mission for our life. Instead of complaining about our situations we must seek to see God’s plan in our situation. Paul thought of the others around him and not himself during his trial. He had plenty to vent about but instead boasted in the Lord and sought to keep the Lord’s will in front of him. He didn’t pray for his own needs as much as he prayed for the needs of others.
- Have your temporary situations caused you to lose sight of God’s overall plan for your life?
- How can we use our situations for the Lord?
- Are you praying for yourself more than you are others? Is there a right balance in this?
- Are you complaining more than you are praying?
Lord, help me see the big picture. Keep me from complaining and griping when life doesn’t go as I would have wanted. Help me maintain a perspective of praise in the midst of problems. I desire to pray for your church to grow in love, unity, and servanthood. Help me model this in my own life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Church Prayer Request:
Pray for the families of Dan and Lori McDonald, Jeremy and Stacy Thomas, and Donald and Linda Batson as they grieve the loss of a wonderful young woman we all loved and admired, Katlyn Parker. Pray the Holy Spirit will bring them ultimate comfort, peace, strength and healing. God is near to the brokenhearted – Psalm 34:18.
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.
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