Take a moment to open this time in prayer. Ask God to bless you as you read and reflect on the text.
Please read Philippians 1: 3 - 11
The Apostle Paul wrote the book of Philippians from prison. I have never been in prison but I can only imagine that being jailed may lead one to feeling depressed, lonely, hopeless and forgotten. However, in these verses Paul writes about joy, grace, partnership and the work that God is doing inside of people. At times people may feel imprisoned by grief, anger, depression, or their circumstances. In the midst of this it is helpful to remember that, like Paul, we can still have joy, experience grace, enjoy partnership and most importantly that we are not forgotten by God. Instead we can lay claim to the promise contained in verse six that God has begun a good work in us and he will continue that work no matter our circumstances and feelings.
Please use the following questions for more reflection.
Do you feel imprisoned by anything at this point in your life: anxiety, depression, finances, the way things have always been done, or anything else?
Paul also mentions in verse four praying with joy. Do you pray with joy for people in your life especially fellow Christians? If not, why not? If you do pray with joy for others when is that last time you told them this?
In verse six Paul says, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.” What good work has God started in you? How is that going? Is anything inhibiting that good work? Is God doing a good work in your community of faith?
Closing - Use the prayer below to end the devotion or close in prayer in your own words.
Gracious Heavenly Father, I thank you that whether I feel imprisoned or not that you are working within me. Lord, help me to recognize and understand how you are working within me and help me to not inhibit your work by my own fears or desires. May your work within me help me to discern what is best and live in that understanding. Amen.