Pastor Marc Likins
Philippians 1:19, "For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ."
I recently heard someone say that people are and/or appear to be confident until they have to live with the consequences of their opinions. Our world is not lacking in people expressing themselves confidently through our current pandemic. But, our world is lacking God-confident believers who approach crisis with purpose.
Paul had a learning curve on this subject too. At times, he would reach deep lows (2 Corinthians 1:8), and he wanted people to know about it. But, he also learned through crisis that he could have a God-confidence no matter the chaos that surrounded him.
When he said, “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation….”, the this was referring to his imprisonment and suffering. If we were to see Paul—one of the greatest missionaries of his time—stuck in prison, our confidence in the Gospel moving forward would stall. We’d probably tend to think that his imprisonment would put the clamps on spreading the truth, when in fact, his crisis led to the Gospel being furthered and Christ being proclaimed even more. Christians were increasing in boldness for Jesus. Even people with impure motives were being used to spread the Gospel. God was performing alchemy—taking lead and turning it into gold.
How did Paul get to this place where he could say “I know” this is going to turn out fine?
Paul directly quoted Job 13 when he said “this shall turn to my salvation.” He knew how God had taken care of His own before, and he trusted God (the One who could do something about the crisis) to vindicate him.
He knew his suffering was only temporary. He took great stock in the Word of God, and He knew He could take God’s Word to the bank.
If you’re struggling with God-confidence, know that the Bible is a lamp for your feet, a light for your path, the mirror for correction, the wisdom for your decisions, and the strength for your weakness. You WILL find confidence in truth.
The Prayer of Believers
I know this grates against the notions of autonomy and self-sufficiency, but you and I need the prayers of others—just as Paul did. I will be the first to tell you that I covet your prayers. I need wisdom. I need to abound in love. I need spiritual protection, and so do you.
I hope we understand that, as a church, the only way forward is on our knees.
Perhaps the step for you (in applying this passage), is to ask God to give you a genuine love for other Christians and an understanding of their need for our prayers.
The prayers of others will undoubtedly give you more confidence in our almighty God.
The Holy Spirit’s Provision
Paul also leaned on the Spirit’s provision in Philippians 1. The Spirit’s work is not limited to creation, to producing the miracles of the apostolic age, and to the inspiration of those who wrote the Word of God. Paul is saying that there are spiritual resources being made available to him by the Spirit.
We have access to these resources too as believers. We can be filled with the Spirit (Galatians 5). We can be comforted by Him, and we can rely on His provision when crazy surrounds us.
My prayer is that our church family influences our community with a God-confidence—lifting up truth, praying for one another, and relying on the Spirit’s help.