Every day we face new challenges. These challenges oftentimes bring stress, discouragements, and disappointments. But Paul is teaching us to turn to God and pray for strength.
In Philipians 4:13, Paul wrote “I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.”
Why was Paul praying for strength? What were the challenges of Paul in Philipians? Let us learn what Paul did when he faced challenges.
In my last reflection, I wrote two challenges that Paul faced: First, the challenge of being in chains. Second, the challenge of conflicts in the church.
What were the other two challenges?
Third, the challenge of financial troubles.
Paul had financial troubles. He was working as a tent maker but it was not enough. In Philippians he wrote that he was in chains. So he was in need of money.
In Philippians 4:10, 14 Paul thanked the Christians in Philippi because of their financial help. “I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.”
Paul received their gifts that they sent through Epaphroditus. In turn, Paul prayed to God to bless them. Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
Fourth, the challenge of discipleship.
Discipleship is about our lifestyle first and foremost. People have to see it in our lives. Jesus said, “come and follow me.” Can we say that?
Paul wrote that they should follow what he has done. Philippians 4:9 says, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
Paul trained two disciples that he mentioned here: Timothy and Epaphroditus.
Paul gave them words of approval. Though they may be young, they have lived up to the expectations of Paul.
For Timothy he said, “I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare.” (Phi 2:20)
For Epaphroditus he said, “Welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor men like him,” (Phi 2:29)
Our church must train our young people. We must invest in them like what Paul did.
Like Paul, let us pray to turn the challenges in life as life-changing opportunities.
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on