Prayer– Heavenly Father, you haven’t given me everything I’ve asked you for. What’s up with that? Don’t you love me? What do you mean today’s Scripture is just for me, today? Help me read, learn, and grow up.
Scripture- Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.
Thoughts for the day– Paul says, in effect, “I’ve already been rejoicing, filled with joy- (1:4, 1:18), but now I continue what for me IS continuous.” Oh yes, that SO describes me (Bob)… right? And you, too? Later (2:14), Paul will tell them to do everything without complaining or arguing. Interesting contrast, isn’t it, between celebrating and being appreciative for what God is already doing in His world, written from prison, and complaining (ie. Dissatisfied with what God is doing in the world), written from the outside. Later (4:12) Paul will disclose- “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Contentment and joy are expressions of a heart that is willing to let God be God, confident that the painful stuff serves a useful purpose every bit as much as the fun stuff. Paul knows that although the painful stuff is, well, painful, we need it if we are to mature and grow.
So I am confronted with that meddling moment of “reality check”- Am I better described as joyful (“Joy-full”) or complaining or arguing? Are my plans thwarted by what God is allowing, or am I excited about what God is doing in the world, and looking for where I can join the dance? (More about this tomorrow!)
Prayer– LORD Jesus, thank you for saving me where I am, loving me so much, and then promising to transform me into what I could be, should be, if I am willing to let you mold and shape me, using the tools YOU choose, instead of the ones I prefer. Please help me to be joyful, “whatever the circumstances”… oh, and content, too, even during this period of quarantine! You began the good work in me; I am excited to watch (and participate in) you “carry (ing) it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (1:6) Contented joy- what a concept, in the name of Jesus my Savior.