as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. (ESV)
In the midst of our tragic moments in life who are we usually concerned about? I will give you a hint. Ourselves! We will call all of our friends and commiserate with them. The old saying is true that misery loves company. I tend to love to have pity parties. They aren't very well attended, however. Paul is in prison. His possible death is imminent. This verse gives us insight into who is concerned about in the midst of this tragic time of his life.
Paul is concerned about Christ! He desires that Christ will be honored in his body, whether that means life or if it means death. The whole focus of Paul is not Paul. I have said before that Paul is a far better man than I. While I desire to have the same focus that Paul had I find myself struggling with a selfish motivation.
In the previous verse Paul expressed confidence in his deliverance, knowing that the Philippian believers were praying for him, and knowing that God's Spirit was working on his behalf. But in this verse Paul's view of deliverance is put into perfect perspective. If deliverance means physical release from prison then may he glorify Christ as a free man. If deliverance means he is put to death and has a new body in Christ's presence, then may he glorify Christ for all eternity.
How do you view the struggles of life? Are they times to complain and fuss about how unfair things are for you? Or do you look to Christ, desiring to honor him, whether by life or by death?
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