Philippians 1:21: “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain”
Paul wrote this to the church in Philippi while he was in chains. He was a captive for nothing but his faith. He recognized that to live as a follower of Christ is not the glamorous life some expect. You will be persecuted. You will be spurned. You will be treated poorly. But Paul wrote this little bi of wisdom to remind those in Philippi and us that this life that can at times be cold and sorrowful has purpose.
For Paul, to live meant that everything about his life revolved around his devotion to Christ. Everything he did, everything he said, everything that happened to him was part of God’s plan. He was not ashamed and he would not be beaten down by those who would attempt to force his head downward in defeat.
And even if Paul were to die at the hands of those who so cruelly oppressed him, he saw that his death would lead him directly to eternity face to face with Christ Himself. So no matter what, if he continued living he was free spiritually because he focused on what we ought only to focus on and be devoted to, and if he died he received the reward that God promised us and delivered through the death of His Son.
So remember what it is that Paul was espousing in this scripture. We will have pain and hurt and hardship for as long as we live in this world, but it will NEVER consume us for we have a mighty Savior whom has welcomed us into His arms and who builds a mansion for us in the Kingdom His Father has given Him. We have fellowship with He who is truth and was made perfect in weakness.
Never give up. Never back down. Never let your eyes be downcast but keep your eyes on Heaven and on Him who loves us.
If only any of us frail vessels could live up to that high standard!
Our bodies are the vessels, and we are the spirits. We don’t have to try to live up to that standard or hope to get there because the Holy Spirit empowers us to do so. We receive wisdom from His Spirit and strength through His son. Never sell yourself short, because Go has set you apart as a royal priest (1 Peter 2:1-3)