Tim Keller | June 11, 1995
When we look at the book of Philippians, we see how Paul kept his faith strong even when he was in prison and facing possible death. He helps us understand that life isn’t about what happens to us, but rather what we live for. This gives us four key ideas about life: its toughness, its ability to change, its meaning and its dynamic nature. We can use these ideas to stay strong during difficult times.
1. The toughness of life
Paul’s letter to the Philippians talks about the tough questions Christians often face, especially when bad things happen to good people who have done a lot for the church. This problem of suffering is even more difficult for Christians because we believe in absolute moral values. Paul offers a solution to this problem, which we’ll explore more.
2. The ability of life to change
In his letter, Paul believes that God can make good things happen even in the worst situations. He sees his jailers as a chance to spread the word of God. He compares God’s ability to change things to alchemy, which turns common metals into gold. Paul believes that his own hardships are helping him become more like Jesus. This is a hard journey, but a fulfilling one if we trust in God’s ability to change things for the better.
3. The meaning of life
Understanding what life is really about is important because it influences how we deal with challenges. Life isn’t about temporary things like pleasure, power or personal relationships. Instead, life is about being dedicated to Christ. This viewpoint helps us handle any situation because we find our ultimate purpose and meaning in Him.
4. The dynamic nature of life
In John 17:19, Jesus shows that he is completely dedicated to helping his followers grow spiritually and find true happiness. This deep, selfless love, when fully understood by believers, changes them. They begin to say, “For me, to live is you,” and find a strong foundation in Christ. We end with a prayer for God’s help in embracing this new understanding of life, where living is the same as following Christ, just as he dedicated his life to his followers.
February Book Offer
In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.
February Book Offer