Philippians is one of my favorite books of the Bible. Probably because it’s so happy and smiley and uplifting, and sometimes my inner Eeyore just needs that kind of encouragement. So for the next few weeks, I’m going to delve into that book. Feel free to join me. Comment. Point out things I missed. Please! There’s so much good stuff in this book, I really don’t want to miss a thing.
“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” Philippians 1:1-2 .
Paul wrote this letter from prison. Talk about a reason to be Eeyore.
But Paul didn’t let his circumstances get him down. Nope.
The church at Philippi had shown him great support and love, and he wanted to thank them. In the midst of what must have been some pretty dadgum-difficult days, Paul took the time to write a joyful, kind, loving letter to his friends. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, he focused on the people who loved him, and he wished them grace and peace.
Sometimes life is hard.
During those times, we’re often so frustrated with our lousy circumstances that we focus only on ourselves. And when we place too much attention on ourselves and our rotten situations, we see nothing but gloom and doom. By keeping our chins to our chests and looking only at our problems, we actually make our problems seem worse.
We can learn an important lesson from Paul. Look up! Look at God, and at those He has placed around us. Take the time to love them, to help them, and to thank them for kindness shown. By taking our eyes off our own darkness, we widen our vision to take in some light.
Paul was able to wish his readers grace, because he had experienced the grace that only God gives. He was able to wish them peace, because he had unlocked the secret to peace in his own life. He set his attention on God, and on others, and he barely had time to remember how bad things were. And those bad things seemed not quite so bad, as he remembered and shared God’s blessings.
Dear Father, Thank You for Your grace and peace. Help me not to get so wrapped up in my own problems that I forget to be a blessing to others. I love You.