You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.Philippians 2:18(NASB)
It is always a joy to have Christian brothers and sisters whose lives are a shining example of Jesus Christ, radiating in them and working through them. It is good to receive wise advice on godly living from such precious examples of Christlikeness.
Many of Paul's epistles are written to encourage Christians towards such godly living, exhorting the saints to live their life to the glory of God.. while warning them to place no confidence in the flesh, but to depend on Christ and Him alone.
Not only did Paul make mention of Timothy and Epaphroditus as shining examples of good Christian living.. but Paul himself is a wonderful illustration of a life that is lived to the glory of God - emphasising that joy in the Lord is the resulting legacy for all whose lives are offered as a living sacrifice.. holy and acceptable unto the Lord.
Paul was writing this letter to the Philippians from one of his many prison cells, into which he had been flung for the sake of Jesus Christ his Saviour, but he endured it without bitterness or complaining.. holding fast to the word of life in Christ Jesus, which had set him free from slavery to sin.. Satan, the world and the flesh.
Paul even rejoiced in his suffering for Christ's sake and recognised that such hardships are short-lived when viewed from an eternal perspective. His imprisonment was because he had faithfully preached the word, in season and out of season to a lost and dying world - and Paul described his life as being poured out as a drink offering for the sacrifice and sake of these precious saints in Philippi - who by grace through faith in Christ had been transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear Son.
Paul rejoiced and was glad to have suffered in this way because it produced a harvest of born-again souls to the glory of God.. and he wanted these dear saints at Philippi to rejoice in like manner - because we share a mutual joy in the Lord
When any of God's children are called upon to suffer hardships for the sake of Christ, we should seek to adopt the same godly attitude that Paul displayed in his letter to the Philippians - to rejoice in our sufferings for the sake of Christ and for His glory, knowing that the difficulties of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that will one day be revealed to all who suffered for His name's sake.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the Word of truth and the wisdom it contains. Thank You for examples of godly men and women in both the Scriptures and in my own life, who have been such good examples of Christian living. Help me to rejoice in the things that I am called upon to suffer for Christ and to embrace them as an opportunity to be poured out as a living sacrifice.. holy and acceptable, to Your honour and glory - this I ask in Jesus name, AMEN.