Philippians is a 4 part study of the chapters of Philippians. Each one has a different aspect to it and there is also a sum it up of Philippians as a whole.
Philippians 1: A Joyous Attitude
We’ve all had something bad happen to us. There is always going to be something. In Chapter 1 of Philippians, Paul refers to himself as an example constantly. “Now I want you to know brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel,” (Philippians 1: 12 NIV). Paul is telling us that what happens to us can make us stronger. As I sit here and think about bad things that have happened to me I can instantly think about at least one way it has benefitted me. If we look at trials with a sorry attitude we won’t get anything out of them. We will sit around and be angry the rest of our lives because this certain thing happened to us. That’s not how we should look at things. We need to realize that what happened, happened for a reason and we should be glad. We wouldn’t be the people we are today without the trials in our life. “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain,” (Philippians 1: 21 NKJV). This is a phrase we have all heard many times before. Christ’s death opened a door for us- Heaven. If we do not live for Him, we might as well be dead. I watched a video of a skit. It’s about a man and woman who are captured by two men. The man and woman believe in Jesus, the other men do not. The couple refuses to deny Christ and the men are taking the one man to be killed. Before he is killed he tells the woman not to deny Him because to live is Christ and to die is gain. Could we do that? If we were put to a life or death situation could we really die for Him? It’s tough. I think most of us could honestly answer that with ‘I don’t know.’ I think a way we could prepare ourselves for a situation like this is by first claiming Christ as our one and only God. Don’t be afraid to stand up and say I love Christ and I am his follower! Have a joyous attitude. “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,” (Philippians 1: 29 NKJV).
Philippians 2: A Joyous Attitude
“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,” (Philippians 2: 14-15 NKJV). Think of something you don’t really like to do. Do you complain when you have to do it? There are some that will complain about going to church ro reading the Bible. Is that a joyous attitude? We need to do things for Christ and have a joyous attitude about what we are doing. Have you ever witnessed to someone or just had a simple conversation about Christ with someone? Did you do this because you wanted to or because you felt you had to? I know it can be scary witnessing to people sometimes, but really think about why you witnessed to the people you have witnessed to. If we witness to someone because we feel we have to we will whine and complain about it. I don’t think that is a very joyous attitude. We need to be excited to witness to someone. If we have a joyous attitude about witnessing then we can be a bright and shiny light. Another analogy that I like to use for this is we should be like salt. Salt flavors food. We need to flavor the world. We need to strive to want to have a joyous attitude- not complain and whine. Think about everything Jesus did for us while He was here. Did He complain and whine? No, I don’t believe He did. If He would have complained do you think He would have impacted as many lives as He did? I don’t think so. I think that by Him having a joyous attitude that He had a glow (that light, or salt) that drew people to Him because He was happy and wanted to help. Always think of the song, “This Little Light of Mine.”
Philippians 3: A Joyous Attitude
“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ,” (Philippians 3:7 NIV). Cars, money, and stuff- does it all really matter? Could we truly live without it? I think we could. What about Christ. Could we live without Him? What is something that will profit you? Just think about one thing. Would that one thing also profit Christ? Probably not. It may make your life better, but that’s about all it will do. Paul is trying to show us that Christ is the only one we need. He is what we can’t live without. We need to walk past all the earthly things and head for the door Christ has opened for us. “For, as I have often told you, before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies for the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,” (Philippians 3: 18-29 NIV).
Philippians 4: A Joyous Attitude
Rejoice in the Lord always, Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4 NKJV). Always- I find this to be a very important word.Paul doesn’t say sometimes, during the good times, or when you feel like it- he says always. This means when we are sad we need to have a joyous attitude. When we are going through trials we need a joyous attitude. Always have a joyous attitude declare that you love the Lord Jesus Christ! Paul also tells us some characteristics we need to have- be gentle (4:5), don’t be anxious (4:6), pray and let your requests be made known to God (4:6), understand (4:7), guard your heart and mind (4:7), do noble things (4:8), meditate of things that are praiseworthy (4:8), and be content (4:11). By having all these characteristics we can know that we have a joyous attitude. I have a challenge for myself and you- pick one out of these characteristics that is harder for you. For a week try to make sure you follow this characteristic. The next week pick another one. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV).
Summing Up Philippians
All of us are going to go through trials. The most important thing about these trials is how we handle them. We need to have a joyous attitude about everything. Look on the bright side. We need to have a desire to tell others about Christ. We need to have characteristics that will make us a very bright light in the world or flavoring in the world. Let your light shine and have a joyous attitude.
Here are some verses that went along when I was doing this study:
I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth in me shall never` thirst. – John 6: 35 KJV
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. – Hebrew 11:1 NIV
You are those who have stood by me in my trials. And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred on eon me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones. – Luke 22: 28– 30 NIV
The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are everlasting arms. – Deuteronomy 33: 27 NIV
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6: 34 NIV