“Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
It was time to begin a new book of the Bible during my quiet time this morning. Since I am working on developing a heart of thankfulness, I thought that I ought to read Philippians. I have always been looking for something to relate to Paul’s statement “to live is Christ and to die is gain,” so that I could better understand it. The second part seems pretty obvious, but what does “to live is Christ” really mean?
God decided to show me what it meant for me this morning in the passage above. Paul had just finished talking about some people preaching the gospel “out of selfish ambition... thinking to cause [him] distress in [his] imprisonment,” and explains that he rejoices anyway, because the gospel is still being preached. Combine that with the passage above, and Paul is saying that no matter what, there is victory in Christ. Christ will always receive the glory. As long as I align myself with God’s will, I cannot lose - because God cannot lose. Therefore I will not be put to shame.
“To live is Christ” means to me that to live in Christ is victory. “Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.” It doesn’t matter what I’m going through. The pain I experience from fibromyalgia is for the glory of God. The crying of my baby in distress is for the glory of God. The traffic accident on the side of the road is for the glory of God. All is victory in Christ.
If we can see these things for what they are, we can rejoice. There is no need to worry, because God has the victory. I thank God for His victory.