Category Archives: FAITH HOPE AND LOVE

WHATEVER HAPPENS…. (Philippians 1:27-30)

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From previous Philippians expositions, we looked at the establishment of the church in Phillippi by apostle Paul and his associates.

We’ve also looked at the situation Paul was in (imprisoned for Christ, not for political reasons).

In 1:27-30 he exhorts believers on how to respond in various circumstances of life- Literally, in “whatever happens…

Life is full of uncertainties- some happenings that come our way may be good, and some not good. In life, there are good times and bad times. Life can bring both joyful moments, celebration moments as well as conflicts, sorrow, hardship, and confusion.

Paul, like us, faced various happenings of life. He experienced the ups and downs of life- both the mountaintop experiences of life and the valley experiences. There were times he was rejected, beaten, persecuted and abandoned for death. But there were other high moments of life when God revealed to him secret things, and generally he was greatly used by God in reaching out to the Gentiles.

Although there were strong established ministry partnerships with the Phillippian church, Paul had pressing concerns. Evidently, there were emerging false teachers (3:2), illnesses of close ministry associates/friends (2:27), relationship problems in the church (4:2), times of financial difficulties-when not one church shared with him in matters of giving and receiving (4:15).

But Paul chose to soar above these challenges/storms.

In whatever the circumstance, Paul KNEW (v.12,19,25) that:

  • God is able to use dark moments to accomplish his purposes (v.12-14)- God used Paul’s imprisonment, chains, and sufferings in a profound way to advance the gospel, and through it many Christians found encouragement to proclaim the gospel more courageously and fearlessly.
  • God is able to use envy and rivalry to advance his mission (v. 15-20)- he can even use our enemies to bring some to salvation.
  • Things will turn out well for him- v.19.
  • In the final run he will not be ashamed- v.20
  • It will result into sufficient courage- to do more, to suffer more- v.20.
  • Christ will be exalted- by life or death- v.20.

Related: When we go though hard times

As Christians today, how can live in a godly way through every circumstance of life? (in whatever happens)

Instead of becoming victims and captives of circumstances, how can we be victors? How can we soar above the storm?

Here are some biblical principles that can help us today:

  1. Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ (V.27)-

How can we achieve this?It involves living in a manner that pleases God, imitating Christ, and living a holy life.

We are called to live, think, act and react in a manner/pattern that is consistent with the Word of God. We should not respond or react as the world or people of the world do… we are different people… we should be gracious, patient, hopeful, joyful, faithful, and loving.  Our conversations should be full of grace, seasoned with salt (Col. 4:6).

Circumstances are subject to change, but as God’s children our responses should not vary with circumstances.

A question to ponder: Are we conducting ourselves in matters family, finances, relationship etc in a manner that befits the gospel of Christ/the people of God?

Sadly, many times, we adapt/conduct ourselves in manners worthy of our cultures and customs, traditions, experiences and circumstance.

We should be watchful of our conduct all the times- that is, not just when we are under a watch of our parents, employers, bosses, spouses etc but also in their absence. This is because we doing it unto the Lord.

  1. Stand firm (v.27)-

Paul reminded believers in Christ to stand firm unified in one spirit.

It is easy to be swayed by ideologies of false teachers, and mixed emotions from our circumstances.

But we need to be firmly grounded; by standing firm in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

Simply, how can one stand firm? By:

  • Being deeply rooted in the word of God; holding on to the teachings you have received.
  • Embracing the freedom in Christ, Gal. 5:1.
  • Resisting temptations.
  • Although God make us stand firm, we also need to make a deliberate choice to stand firm.
  • Putting on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against devil’s schemes (Eph. 6:10-11).
  • Praying that you stand firm (Col. 4:12) and Jesus instructions to his disciples before the betrayal…
  • Being part of a fellowship of believers for shared life and encouragement.

Stand firm because the Lord’s coming is near.

  1. Be fearless- v.28

Circumstances of life (both good and bad) can bring fears (or, in other words, rob our courage)…

We can be subject to numerous kinds of fears: fear of the future, fear of unknown, fear of enemies, fear of failure etc. You only need the fear of God to dispel other fears.

We should not fear of those who oppose us (and God)… Gen 12:4; Ps. 2.

In whatever the circumstance, God assures us that we will be saved/delivered.

To overcome fear, we must have strong convictions:

Like Job- “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth” (Job 19:25).

Like Paul- “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, not anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-9)

  1. Believe in Him- v29

By identity we are believers; and by calling, we are called to constantly believe in God.

We should believe in Him who is above every circumstance of life.

Believe that God has good plans for you; and that His actions towards you are motivated by love.

In hard times, remember to trust in God, his word, and providence

  1. Suffer for him- v.29-30-

If we should should suffer, it should be because of doing what is good; for this is a blessing!

For, like Paul, we know that through suffering God can bring out something beautiful. Paul wrote to Romans, “and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us…” Rom 5:2b-5a.

Again, how can we maintain stability amidst confusing and all-round of life situations? How can we hold our heads up above our shoulders in all situations? reflect upon the five points above.

In summary, Paul knew that whatever happens, whether he is in prison or not, the gospel is advanced. He realized that even through his suffering something good happened- the jailer and palace guard believed in God.

In whatever the circumstance, remember God is at work. God works in mysterious ways. He is a miracle worker, and a way-maker.

Wherever you live, whatever your age, whatever your circumstance- live for God, stand firm, fear not, believe, and when need be, suffer for Him.

Also read: God’s power is far above your situation

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Faith Hope and Love

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There are some crucial essentials in life that God wants all his children to know so as to live a life full of life. That is, a life that is fulfilling while delighting in God.

While addressing issues on spiritual gifts in the Body of Christ at Corinth, Apostle Paul mentions three important things that should remain in the life of a believer. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love (1 Cor 13:13). These three are what the church and individual believers should be known for. Let’s have a look at each one of them.


We all have faith either on a person or a thing. But again we desperately need faith that is firm and that is put on an object that is trustworthy. Biblically, faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Heb. 11:1). We first need trust in God to be able to unlock the mystery of life. Secondly we need to constantly believe the promises of God. Faith in God is not blind but founded upon the promises of God. Faith that is put on people or things cannot stand the test of time. It is only God and his promises that are trustworthy.

It is natural and easy to doubt. But God calls us to live by faith not by sight (2 Cor. 5:17) for that pleases him. Note that the heroes and heroines (in Heb 11) are commended for their trust in God. Faith enables us walk closely with God. It helps us overcome our fears. Having an active faith in God makes it easy to obey, persevere, foresee, and live a life worthy of God.

Therefore we should be able to wake up into each new morning telling God “I believe you are….. and you can….”


Each one of us also needs hope. We also live in a world that is in dire need of hope. Like faith, hope can also be put on a something or a someone. When it is directed toward things (money, experience, education, family…) or a human being it will ultimately disappoint because these things are temporary. But hope that is put in God is solid and cannot fail.

Hope in God is able to transform us. When we put our hope in Jesus, we are gradually changed inwardly through the work of the Holy Spirit. We then experience transformation in our affections, emotions, minds, attitudes, and approach to life.

Again, hope is able to make us rejoice in any circumstance for hope in God does not depend on happenings. When we have such expectation we are able to say like Habbakuk, Though the fig-tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour. The Sovereign Lord is my strength… (Habb. 3:17-19) Hope in God rejoices on the fact that God is at work even now. It is sure of the fulfillment of the things that faith beholds.

One can easily spot people with this kind of hope; they are full of joy, full of life, thankful, bold, and have an eternal perspective of things. It does not mean that their problems are all solved or that all of their prayers are answered. But they are aware that everything is secure in God’s hands and that God’s hands is on everything. They not only anticipate good out of present circumstances but also have hope of glory.

In a world full of suffering, trial, temptations, and evil; it is tough to maintain hope and easy to lose it. But it is good news to hear that God gives hope, he promised the exiles: “For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11). He gives it freely!


In a morally corrupt Corinth, love had lost meaning; in such a context apostle Paul defined what true love is. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails (1 Cor. 13:4-8). Again, God is love (1 Jn. 4:8). We see this modeled in Jesus. Therefore true love involves learning from the example of Christ.

True love is not an abstract ideal but a real action to be expressed-loving God and his people. Like the way Jesus showed us, it involves giving sacrificially, Jn 3:16. What about the unlovable ones? Just love them! Life always presents us opportunities around us (of people who feel rejected, abandoned etc) to perfect our love. There is always a room to love and not to hate. And by doing so, we evidence our faith. The Body of Christ and individual believers today can make greater impact in the world by choosing to love. Love alone makes tears roll, tears of joy and tears of repentance. It is the weapon that the apostles used to conquer the mighty Roman empire.

It is faith that made the Thessalonians to turn from idols to true God; it is hope in Jesus that inspired their patience; it is love that prompted them to serve living and true God, (1Thess. 1:2-3).

In your journey of faith never let these three (faith, hope, and love) leave you!