More Than Circumstance

Philippians 1:20 ESV - Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 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.

This inspirational passage is from the Apostle Paul. He is writing from jail to the church at Philippi. Paul is awaiting trial and left facing the possibility of execution. But rather than feel sorry for himself, he is praying for boldness. 

Paul writes that it is his EAGER expectation and hope that he will not be ashamed. That word in the Greek that Paul uses is APOKARADOKIA(ap-ok-ar-ad-ok-ee'-ah). This is a word that scholars believe Paul himself coined. It is comprised of three different words and when combined, the definition is “to look into the distance with outstretched head.” To paraphrase, Paul is saying, “I can’t move my feet, I can’t move my body, but I’m stretching my head forward to the future and so I will rejoice.”

Talk about confidence! We wrapped up a series in Ecclesiastes a few weeks ago and what we learned was that life ‘under the sun’ is meaningless. If all we can see is our earthly circumstances in this broken world than we should just end it now. For unbelievers, life on earth is all there is. So naturally, society finds itself striving for worldly things. Paul is after the opposite!

Sometimes we are so consumed with our difficult circumstances that we lose hope. Paul reminds us to fix our gaze on what lies beyond this life. As believers, we know where we are going! This makes us free to serve and to focus on what counts without fear of death.

Think about that eager expectation that Paul had next time you feel stuck or trapped. You may not be able to move your feet, or your body, but lift your head up and stretch towards the future and rejoice. Remember that there is more in your life than your current circumstances. God is sovereign over all.

Say a Prayer today,