When we are shining the light in the darkness, the lost will be drawn to us so that we can point them to the cross where sins are defeated. When we are shining the light of God’s love and grace in a world of anger and hatred, people will come. When the joy of the Lord is beaming from our countenance like a beacon of hope in a broken world, they will be drawn to the light.
Do not fear. God said, “Behold, all those who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced; they shall be as nothing, and those who strive with you shall perish” (v. 11). When life comes at us, we need to remember that God’s got this. It might take us a minute to steady ourselves and get past the initial wave of bad news, but God is there to hold us and help us overcome.
Satan may look and sound like a foe that we cannot defeat, but the truth is that he is already defeated. Jesus defeated him from the cross, and when we put our faith in Jesus, the victory Jesus won becomes our victory as well. The story comes full circle because God has already declared the end from the beginning. The end of Satan, his demons, and all who follow him is found in the final chapters of the Bible.
Jesus, the Man of sorrow and acquainted with grief, is the one who gives us joy unspeakable and full of glory. There will be times of sorrow in the midst of our joy, but one day soon, God will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and there will be no more death, or sorrow, or crying. And there will be no more pain because all those things have passed away.
Satan has deceived too many people into believing that they are powerless against sin. While it is true that before Christ, we were powerless. In fact, we were dead in trespasses and sins (Ep 2:1), but through faith in Jesus, which releases the grace of God in us, we have the power to live in victory rather than defeat. We can say no to sin and live to please God. We can tell the devil that he is a liar and has no authority or power over us. Indeed, Jesus has given us authority in His name to put the enemy under our feet so that we can walk in victory.
You’ve been preparing for this! All those prayers, all those hours reading your Bible, all those Sundays that you got up and came to church even when you didn’t feel like it, all those tears, all that praise, all that worship, it has ALL been leading to this. This could be your finest hour because if you endure to the end, you will be victorious! There are witnesses in heaven on the edges of their seats cheering you on. You’ve got this because the battle is the Lord’s, and there is always victory in Jesus.
Having completed the task for which the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write the epistle, the Holy Spirit also inspired Paul with the ending salutation. There are three important points in these three verses: First, we will see that the word “saint” refers to every believer in Christ Jesus. Second, we see that if there could be committed believers serving in the household of Nero, then there is no excuse for not being committed Christians in whatever place or time we are living. And third, we are reminded that God’s grace through Christ Jesus is sufficient to ensure that we gain and maintain our victory.
Paul wasn’t soliciting resources from the Philippians so that he could be at ease while they were struggling. He said that through Christ, he could find contentment with a full belly or an empty belly. He appreciated their giving, but he also wanted them to know that through their generosity, they themselves would be blessed. After all, it was Jesus who said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Ac 20:35).
The world wants to bombard us with negative images and stories. But when we think only about the bad things happening in the world or in our lives, it has a negative effect on our physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Paul told the believers, “The Lord is at hand” (v. 5), and then he said, “Be anxious for nothing” (v. 6a). The Greek word translated as anxious is merimnao, which means to worry about something or to be constantly anticipating that something bad is about to happen. Paul said, “Don’t do that.”