In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now. Philippians 1:4,5
Lonely, depressed Christians. Paul writes to the Philippian Christians from prison in Rome. A lonely Christian? Persecuted and suffering for his faith, Paul could be lonely and depressed. But he writes the joyful words of our text.
Paul knows he is not alone, for he has the Philippian Christians as partners in the Gospel. They heard and believed the message of Christ Crucified when he first visited Philippi. No wonder Paul rejoices and continues his own Gospel ministry with power.
Are you a lonely Christian, wallowing in self-pity and despair, afraid to stand up for the Gospel, helpless before the onslaught of a rebellious world? Or do you see the partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now – the Christian pastor faithfully proclaiming the Gospel and administering the sacraments, the retired factory worker with years of Gospel experience amidst the trials of life, the teenager excited about telling friends about Jesus? Sinful, struggling believers, to be sure, but Gospel partners, washed clean by the blood of the Lamb, sustained by God through suffering, and giving of themselves to others with a quiet joy, rooted in the Gospel promises.
Jesus Christ endured a lonely death on the cross so that you might be forgiven and drawn into the fellowship of the Gospel. And you, yes, you, can be a partner in the Gospel every day.
PRAYER: Lord God, bind our hearts and lives together in a partnership of Christian love. Amen.
(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit www.cph.org.)