Expectant and assured
My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all boldness, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For me, living is Christ and dying is gain. Now if I live on in the flesh, this means fruitful work for me; and I don’t know which one I should choose. I am pressured by both. I have the desire to depart and be with Christ—which is far better—but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. Philippians 1:20-24
The passage, “For me, living is Christ and dying is gain” is the most often quoted verse from Philippians. It speaks about Paul’s joyous confidence and assurance that because of his relationship with Christ, dying is not something to be feared but to be looked upon as transitioning to the life promised by Christ. This assurance is what sustained Paul even when he was imprisoned and the realization that it will lead to his death. This was also what he was alluding to when there were those that were preventing him to return to Jerusalem so he could share the gospel. “But he said, “Why all this weeping? You are breaking my heart! I am ready not only to be jailed at Jerusalem but even to die for the sake of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 21:14). This is why the disciples realized that Paul will not be stopped because he believed that this is the will of God. “The Lord’s will be done” (Acts 21:14b). God’s admonition is for us to trust Him and His will for our lives. Most frustrations experienced by Christians come as a result of modeling their lives after someone else's life. Rather than finding God's direction for their lives listening to God through His word and His answer to our prayers, we rely on our own ability to discern things in life. God wants us to trust Him even if we do not see what is ahead of us. Even though we are bombarded daily with doubts concerning the future we must not doubt that God is in complete control. Let us not allow fear to overcome us that we get paralyzed and panicked because we can’t see the future. David trusted his shepherd thus he said with confidence, “Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me” (Psalms 23:4). When God is with us, He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
Noel De Guzman