Unspeakable Joy Devotional

June 22nd

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God’s Deliverance. Philippians 1:12-26 “But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; And may of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will; The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel. What then? Notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour; yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.”

Difficulties and suffering can make us want to give up and throw ourselves a pity party. If we can’t find a way out of our trial and there’s no relief in sight, we may conclude that God really doesn’t deliver His people as He promised. At such times, the problem is not with the Lord but with our understanding of His deliverance.

Paul wrote his epistle to the Philippians while he was chained and guarded in a Roman jail. But he wasn’t feeling sorry for himself. Throughout his letter he was able to look beyond his circumstances and rejoice in Christ. Although he wasn’t being delivered out of prison, countless people were being saved. All the guards heard the gospel, and Paul’s example gave fellow believers the courage to proclaim Christ without fear.

God’s deliverance doesn’t always match our expectations:

Sometimes He removes us from a difficult situation so we don’t have to face it anymore. This is the solution we all want, but it is not His only method.

At other times, He may choose to strengthen us through our hardship. Our circumstance doesn’t change, but He sustains us in it, enabling us to trust Him each step of the way.

Finally, God may give us eternal deliverance through death. Paul said that departing and being with Christ would be “very much better” Philippians 1:23 “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better”, yet this is often the option we dread most.

When your affliction is lasting longer than you want, ask, What fruit is God producing in my life? And How is He working in other people’s lives through this situation? You can trust the Lord, no matter how he chooses to deliver you.

2 Samuel 22:2 “And he said, The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer.”

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