Verse 18b-19 Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 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.
Paul now points out that our rejoicing shouldn’t be limited to the work of salvation but that we should also rejoice in the work that He continues to do in our lives. Not that this work of sanctification always makes us feel like celebrating.
Paul is sitting in prison hoping to be released so he can continue his ministry of traveling around planting churches, but God had other plans for him. No matter what his current situation, Paul wants his friends to see the need to rejoice because God is always in control. He also rejoices because he knows that his friends are praying for him. The prayers of a friend can bring so much comfort in a challenging time of life.
Paul knows that his friends understand that God is in control but sometimes we need that reminder to rejoice in His working when it goes against what we think we want in our lives. It is so easy to get caught up in the negative feelings of what we are experiencing. So easy to think that God has forgotten His promise of never leaving us, but not only has He not left us, He is continuing His work in us as we go through it.
Sometimes our prayers become so focused on being delivered from what is going on with us that we miss the fact that this world isn’t all there is. Sometimes we miss the joy of being able to see what He could be up to in our lives and the lives of those around us. The truth about trials is that they often teach things to more than just the person going through it.
Yes, we should rejoice at the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, even when it means being uncomfortable. And when that deliverance comes our way we will rejoice no matter the way He delivers us because it will always be for His glory and our good. When we are content in the work He is doing in our lives we will know the blessing of knowing Him in a personal way and we will see Him working in those around us as they reflect on how He is delivering us. Oh, praise His name for His mighty work!
Making It Personal
What is something that God has used in your life to grow you spiritually? Were you able to rejoice in the midst of the trial? Have you been able to rejoice with a fellow believer through their trial?
Making It Personal Kids
Can you be happy about Jesus when you are having a bad day? What is something that can help you remember to be happy with Jesus even in the bad times? Is Jesus always with you?
Father, thank You for never leaving us. Help us remember that You are always working everything for our good and Your glory. Give us the joy of serving You even in the hard times. In Jesus’ name, amen.