What do you see when you look at the chains that are holding you back from joy?
Usually, we focus on our personal discomfort that often stems from advancing our own agendas. Paul offered something different. He taught that we could experience joy amidst suffering by first linking our passion with Christ (Philippians 1:12-18a). This connects our hearts with His.
Second, in order to experience joy amidst suffering, we link our perspective with Christ.
Paul shared: “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. 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. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.” (Philippians 1:18b-26).
Whereas, passion is a matter of the heart, perspective is a focus of the eyes. Paul saw every opportunity as one to advance Christ’s kingdom. Regardless of the circumstances, Paul exalted Christ.
What is your perspective of your chains? Find a friend to pray with you to have Paul’s perspective. Allow the Holy Spirit to refocus your eyes.