When Everything In Your Life is Hard

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Philippians 2:19-21

I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.

CONSIDER THIS

Don’t you love it how Paul just breaks out of the most massive Christological hymn in the history of hymns (a.k.a. Philippians 2:6-11) and now he’s onto his to-do list as relates to the Philippians? He’s sending emissaries and making travel plans.

Not only is Paul’s life a living crucible of the gospel he is preaching, he has a protégé in whom the gospel is also flourishing: Timothy.

Note Paul’s metric for what gospel flourishing looks like:

I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare.

It’s got me asking myself, Do I show genuine concern for the welfare of other people? Or am I primarily concerned about my own welfare? Honestly, I don’t think I land in either of those places. I am somewhere in the mushy middle. The next verse instructs  me in a fresh way:

For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.

I’m not sure I am making this connection between showing genuine concern for the welfare of others and the interests of Jesus Christ. Let me state that more emphatically. The interest of Jesus Christ is served by my showing genuine concern for the welfare of others and not looking out for my own interests.

I’ll be honest with you Daily Text Friends. I am living in a season of time right now where everything about my life is hard. My own interests feel overwhelming a lot of the time. In fact, I am living in a season where I don’t have the bandwidth for too much genuine concern for the welfare of others. In other words, it’s not in my self-interest to show genuine concern for the welfare of others. It’s not that I don’t care. It’s that I don’t have the capacity. I believe the Lord allows times like these in our lives to grow us beyond our self-interest and to build into us new Holy Spirit–inspired capacities. I believe times like these, which I know many of you are also facing, are those times when the Holy Spirit whispers, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9).

That doesn’t make it any easier, just a lot more hopeful. I’m beginning to see my own job description in a lot simpler terms. It goes like this: look out for the interests of Jesus Christ by showing genuine concern for the welfare of others. Period. There is a word that captures this whole thing: love.

THE PRAYER

Abba Father, we thank you for your Son, Jesus, who has shown us what genuine concern for the welfare of others looks like. It’s extraordinary. We don’t have this capacity, Lord, but we know you do and if you are in us then your capacity can be ours. Thank you for leading us in this way. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

THE QUESTIONS

  1. Can you remember a time in your life where everything was hard? What did you learn in those days?
  2. Could Paul count on you to “show genuine concern” for the welfare of others?
  3. Why do most people look out for their own interests and not for the interests of Jesus Christ?

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

P.S. – You can order a hard copy of this series here.

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

3 COMMENTS

  1. It’s not too hard to remember at time when life seems hard because I believe we are living in such a time right now. There exists so much uncertainty with what’s coming next on many fronts that it makes it very difficult to make long range plans. Satan seems to be having a field day in his attacks against Christ’s Church. I believe this is being allowed by God to show us that His power will be made manifest in our weaknesses. This time we are currently in seems to correlate with Jesus’s statement in Matthew 24:10-13 : “ At that time many will turn away from the truth and will betray and hate each other, and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. “ This is truly the time for a fresh wind of the Spirit to blow through the Church. Welcome Holy Spirit!

  2. The Daily Text is most definitely looking out for the interests of Jesus Christ.

    As I have learned, sometimes life has to become about saving yourself; it is what John Wesley taught: “…but always save yourself”. The analogy is what the flight attendant says about having to use the oxygen mask: Put yours on first before you try to help anybody else put theirs on.

  3. For everyone looks for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. The interest of Jesus Christ is served by my concern for the welfare of others. For me it takes effort to be concern for others, My prayer and my heart is; break my heart for what breaks yours. And yet I struggle with this! For truly love and compassion come only through Christ and his spirit with in. So I pray, fill me a new every day so I may walk in your ways. I am empty and dry and I do not know why, fill me a fresh today. Break my heart for what breaks yours and lead me to walk in your love.

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