I have you in my heart…how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus…I pray that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment…who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare…longing for you all…TO WRITE THE SAME THINGS AGAIN IS NO TROUBLE TO ME…my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown…not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. (Philippians 1:7, 8, 9; 2:20, 26; 3:1; 4:1, 17, NAS)
Paul’s objective was always that God be glorified, and that the people were able to grow in Christ. When the people sent him a gift, he was glad simply because it would go to their spiritual account, not for his own selfish gain. He patiently delivered the Word of God repeating himself as necessary. Because Paul’s focus was that of the Kingdom of God, he was supernaturally equipped to be selflessness, hence maintaining joy as well as persuading others to rejoice in all things. It was this very joy that strengthened him in his endeavors. The whole book of Philippians reveals Paul’s continuous joy.
Paul did not allow adversity of life and ministry or the shortcomings of others to rob him of his joy. He understood the very nature and heart of God. As he was forgiven much, he was able to see through the eye of forgiveness and extend it perpetually toward others. God not only spared Paul’s life after he had tormented and killed God’s people, but God went further and anointed Paul to speak for Him! This confounded both the godly and the ungodly revealing that God not only forgives all, but that anyone can receive such forgiveness as well as become anything God desires of them without limitation! Simply astounding is the heart of God –how could any of us not rejoice always? Likewise, how could anyone forgiven so much ever turn and complain against someone else in their frailties and failures?
“Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor” (James 2:11-12, NAS).
May I plainly state that this is difficult – the whole “do not speak against one another”? I know for me that I can do really well with that until a person or group of people seriously push me repeatedly. However, when I remind myself of how God operates in love at all times, I am better equipped spiritually to administer the Word of God without a judgmental, critical, irritated or impatient spirit. We must all begin seeing ourselves for just how lowly and forgiven we are personally. It is when we have an opinion of ourselves that is higher than it ought to be that we begin to judge others and grow weary and impatient.
“Why should any living mortal, or any man, offer complaint in view of his sins” (Lamentations 3:39, NAS).
“Do all things without grumbling and complaining” (Philippians 2:14, NAS).
Hope you’ll stay tuned for the continuation of this topic of joy and gladness!
Love, peace, and blessings!
Alexys V. Wolf