Worship Service -
Joy in Trials (Philippians 1:12-18)
Notes on the
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Joy in Trials
- "The greatest opportunity
to glorify God is when you are walking thru the fires of affliction and
trials" - Bob O'Bannon
- "Whoever the Lord has adopted ought to prepare
themselves for hard, toilsome and unquiet living." John Calvin
- Our culture today is giving us the exact opposite
message - - that we deserve a life of comfort - - and that the #1 goal is to be
as comfortable as you can.
- But Paul's life was different - - and, it appears - -
the more he was faithful to God, the more trials the Lord allowed in his
- Trials in the World
- Consider Phillipians 1:12-14 - 12Now I want you to
know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the
gospel. 13As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard
and to everyone else that I am in chains for
Christ. 14Because of my chains, most of the
brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more
courageously and fearlessly.
- Trials in the Church
- Consider Phillipians 1:16-18 -15It is true that some
preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16The latter
do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The
former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that
they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18But what does it
matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or
true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
- Trials in Pauls' life
- 2 Corinthians 11:23b-33 - I have worked much harder,
been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to
death again and again. 24Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes
minus one. 25Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times
I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26I have been
constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from
bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger
in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from
false brothers. 27I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep;
I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been
cold and naked. 28Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my
concern for all the churches. 29Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led
into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? 30If I must boast, I will boast of the
things that show my weakness. 31The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to
be praised forever, knows that I am not lying. 32In Damascus the governor under
King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me. 33But
I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his
- The truth
- We live in a fallen world - - we will (or have) faced
- Jesus said - In this world you
will have trouble
- Peter said - dont think its stange when trials enter
your life - - you live in a fallen world:
- I Peter 4:12-13 - 12Dear friends, do not be surprised
at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were
happening to you. 13But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of
Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
- However - - There is a Divine Purpose in
- From a human point of view, Paul's imprisonment is
- BUT - - Paul sees the Divine purpose - - (both a
current purpose and a future purpose)
- Phillipians 1:12-13 - 12Now I want you to know,
brothers, that what has happened to me has really served
to advance the gospel. 13As a result, it has
become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that
I am in chains for Christ.
- Who is actually imprisoned to who? It really appears
that the soldiers are imprisoned to Paul........ He sees the current purpose of
preaching to a captured audience!
- And what would we do? I would probably beg the guards
to hear why I was falsely imprisoned - - - but not Paul - - - he preached to
- Phillipians 1:16b - .....knowing
that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. (Again, Paul sees the
divine purpose - - and here he sees the future purpose - - of going to trial
and defending his position in front of the leaders of Rome!)
- Paul views all of his circumstances
in life, in relation to the higher purpose of spreading the Gospel - - Paul
is willing to lose his freedom, comfort, reputation and perhaps his life in
order to spread the Gospel of Christ - - that's how much he loves Jesus - - and
that's how he finds joy in trials - - and its the key for us in finding joy in
- Our trials make all the sense in the world to God! He
has a Divine Purpose for our trials!
- Finding joy in trials !
- 1. You will never lose Jesus in your trial !
- 2. Don't squander your trial - - find the Divine Purpose
- There is a divine purpose in our
- Ask questions:
- what is God doing here?
- what is he teaching me?
- what sin is he exposing to me?
- how is he drawing me closer to
- in what ways is He making me more like
- how is he preparing me for some future
- Alexander Solzenitsyn said - "it was only when I
lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within my self the first
stirrings of good - the first inclination to come to Christ - - and I turned
back on my years in prison and said "Bless you, prison. I nourished my
soul there. And I say, without hesitation, Bless you prison for having been in
my life" - - He saw the divine purpose - Solzenitsyn saw God drawing him
closer to God Himself."
- 3. Others can be encouraged by watching you under your
- 1:14 Because of my chains, most
of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more
courageously and fearlessly.
- The conclusion from the brothers was - - - if Paul can
be that bold in prison for the Gospel - than I can be more bold outside of
prison for the Gospel!
- This is a huge way to bless others by following Christ
in the pressure and midst of trials!
- Missionary David Brainard - died at the age of 29 from
tuberculosis - - was a huge encouragement to Jonathan Edwards (in fact Brainard
spent his dying days with Edwards and Edward's wife) - Edwards said "I saw
his dying behavior, heard his dying speeches, received his dying counsel and
the benefit of receiving his dying prayers."
- "Sorrow enlarges the capacity of the heart for
Joy" Richard Mahew
- Look at the life of Jesus:
- He faced the greatest trial ever : His death on a
cross for the sins of the world
- He was despised and rejected by men
- He was familiar with suffering
- He was crushed for our iniquities
- He was a man of sorrows
- Did Jesus find joy in his sorrows? Yes He did because
Jesus saw the Divine Purpose!
- Hebrews 12:1-3 - 1Therefore, since we are surrounded
by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders
and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race
marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of
our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the
cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne
of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you
will not grow weary and lose heart.
- So - in suffering - - pray that the trial increases
your capacity for faith!
- In any trial and difficulty say - - it is well with my
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