New International Version
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
Paul remains remarkably positive and optimistic. Having encouraged his readers at Philippi to be a blessing to each other and those around them, to allow God to continue shaping their lives, to overflow with love and to grow in knowledge and insight, and to rise above rivalry and divisions in the church, he now touches on something a little darker, the possibility that he might be facing death. He is in prison, as Heather told us on Monday, probably when he had been sent to Rome to be tried, and yet he is still continuing to rejoice. He knows his brothers and sisters at Philippi are praying for him, he knows that the Holy Spirit is helping him and he knows that whatever the outcome he will be free – either freed on earth to continue preaching Jesus Christ, or sentenced to death and in heaven with Jesus Christ. Rather than worry about which way it will go Paul is asking that he will be bold in his own defense by doing what he would be doing if he was free – preaching Jesus Christ and exalting him.
Let us pray that despite our current situation, whether we are coping or not, we will continue to focus on God rather than ourselves and speak boldly about Jesus Christ and his saving grace for all. Let us pray it for ourselves and each other, knowing that our brothers and sisters at Northway are praying for me, for you, for each other.