Philippians 1:20 “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.”
Paul’s brave proclamation, given in the next verse (v. 21) gives us reason to believe that this great hero of faith was fearless, unmovable in his convictions. But this verse shows us that Paul was human. He had fears and doubts, just like the rest of us.
Listen to him. I sure hope I won’t get cold feet. I hope I won’t have a reason to be ashamed of myself. I hope Christ won’t be ashamed of me! I must be brave. I know I can be brave! His words above seem, to me, to be a self-directed pep talk. He wants Christ to be exalted in his life, and in his death. But he knows that things could get pretty scary for him at his trial.
This example teaches me that faith is hard sometimes! If it were easy, then we would have many, many more committed Christians in this world. There is no shame in feeling afraid, or in having doubts. The shame comes only when, in our fear and doubt, we turn away from God instead of to Him. It is my prayer that, like Paul, I will square my shoulders, lift my chin, and proceed into an uncertain future with determination to serve my Savior no matter what.
Dear Father, I admit that sometimes I feel afraid. Sometimes, my faith gets shaken. Please help me, during those times, to cling to You.