(Written by Rachel Pickel)
This past week Moms at Hope began our second installment of the Philippians study lead by our fearless and fellow momma Jessica Morris. Here’s a recap incase you missed it, or if you are looking to find a little more joy in your circumstances.
In Philippians 1:7-26 we read about Paul’s imprisonment and the joy he finds through his unique prospective. Think of Paul’s chains as rose-colored glasses (not found in any stores). His perception made all the difference, and guess what? It’s contagious! Think of it this way. Think of Paul the leader as YOU and his fellow believers and followers as your children. Sort of changes things doesn’t it?
See….it’s all about PERSPECTIVE.
What we know is that Paul was in chains while he wrote to the Philippians (my paraphrasing below).
- He prayed that the followers would share in God’s grace, grow wiser and more faithful in their pursuit of the gospel. Phil. 1:7-9
Pray that your children grow in their faith and their walk.
- He learned that because of his chains, the brothers and sisters in fact became confident and further proclaimed the gospel so that everyone may know (even the palace – you know, the upper crust). Phil. 1:12-14
Pray that your children learn that strength comes through adversity, but with the help of prayer and petition to God.
- Even though others preached the gospel for selfish or greedy desires, Paul still rejoiced because the job was still getting done (spreading of the gospel). Phil 1:15-18
Pray that your children learn to discern right from wrong.
- He knew that this terrible circumstance would turn out for good and those who supported him would not feel discouraged but encouraged. Phil. 1:19-20
Pray that your children find courage to stay strong when faced with difficulty.
- Paul said, “to live is Christ and to die is gain,” and death would be easy but the mission would stop. So he knew that while alive, he was fruitful and the flame would still burn for those carrying the torch (the message of Jesus). Phil. 1:21-26
Pray that your child finds joy in living with a upwards perspective and purpose.
Pretty deep. So let’s walk it back a few steps. How could one find joy chained to prison walls while his reputation was slandered outside the walls?!?
HINT: The answer is NOT the one where we say, “Well, it COULD be worse!”
Perspective. Perspective. Perspective.
While we know at times our modern lives as mothers (insert rest of titles here) seem hard. Especially when really bad things happen. We cannot shield ourselves from what the world and Satan deliver. We must take a moment to stop and remember to reflect NOT react. It is so easy to react and make wrong judgments that lead down a path opposite of righteousness.
Remember, Paul wasn’t just working for himself. He was working for Christ and his living brothers and sisters. The same way we are living for Christ, and our children, husbands, families, and friends…..you get the picture. If it were all up to Paul, he would’ve said, “Peace Out! I’m Outta Here!” (probably not, but you get my drift) But he had a responsibility to continue his work, no matter how physically and spiritually painful it was.
Yet, if we take a moment to reflect, we are able to ‘discern what is best and pure and blameless for the day of Christ.” Phil. 1:10
With this Reflective Perspective, we can either choose to look down into the mud on the prison floor or up to the heavens. Because in the end, the real end, the E–N–D end that the bible tells us about, our prayerful perspective that leads us to righteousness is all that matters.