Scripture: Philippians 1: 19-30,Sermon Title:Through Difficult Circumstances: Remembering King

This morning we are giving attention to Philippians 1:20, It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be put to shame in any way, but that by my speaking with all boldness, Christ will be exalted now as always in my body, whether by life or by death. This verse is concerning Paul's imprisonment and it is similar to the struggles of Dr. King. Inprisoned several times, Paul understood suffering. Through it all he thrived and encouraged others to thrive also. Usually when people are going through, friends and others will say things like, every cloud has a silver lining, when life gives you lemons make lemonade, when the going gets tough the tough get going, or just suck it up. What might be better to say is that one of the benefits of suffering is growth. Things happen, car accidents, children getting sick, no job and the list goes on and on. The Bible tells us God will see us through. The devil will stand back and watch you go through, but God will get in there and bring you through. I just want to make 5 points about thriving through suffering. 1) Thrive by drawing on spiritual means such as prayer. Paul believed the Holy Spirit and prayer would see him through. In the second half of the 20th century when we in this country were going through dark times, times when we confronted racusim and sexism. During these times prayer was a major part along with singing songs like, Ain't gonna let nobody turn me around. We thrived by drawing on spiritual resources, by turning to each other, other Christians , and requesting prayer. During tough times we can lean on Jesus. God made us, Jesus saves us and the Holy Spirit sustains us daily, the Holy Spirit is called our companion, our comforter, just ask the Holy Spirit and He will be all these things to you. The Bible tells us not to grieve the Holy Spirit. 2) Thrive by confronting not running from your problems. Hold on like we held hands when we marched, when we sat in, when we boycotted. Civil disobedience means you break the law and make society confront our problems. Paul was not cowering, hidding from his problems. King like Paul showed more boldnessin fighting injustice. Boldness through inprisonment. Though victimized, they still spoke up and stood up. 3) Keep a right prospective, Paul was facing inprisonment and maybe death. Verse 21 For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. King like Paul, knew his enemies were after him, knew they were comming , Paul and King knew that whatever happened, God would be glorified. Neither King nor Paul feared death. A person that fears death is easily threatened. If you can thrive while going through it all, then you are an example for others. There was a woman who died from cancer and she was an example of how to thrive while going through. Even if you die you can still bring glory to God. 4) Our character while we go through must show the character of Jesus. Verse 27 Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel. Stand fast in one spirit, striving together, through the Holy Spirit. Paul was more concerned that we show the character of Jesus. Someone might be saved by your character while you're going through. Choose to live your faith, by the Word of God, not by our emotions and instead stand on your faith. 5) Share in Jesus sufferings. Verse 29For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well—. Christians must learn to love suffering with Jesus. In order to go through suffering or being persecuted because of race, religon or sex, we must remember Jesus. All people profile, it is judging we must resist judging them because of their color, their clothes or the way they talk. A truth Hard times are inevitable. We must remember Jesus took our sins to the cross, this is why we must share in His sufferings. Suffering when you are innocent is redemptive, suffering because you do wrong is not redemptive but justice. Jesus thrived while suffering. Thriving not just surviving, no matter what the circumstances. No matter what happens God is still at work. God will never let you experience more than you can with God's help. Let God do His job. You can thrive not just make it through. God will take care of you. God will provide. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly llean on Jesus name. On Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand.

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