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Philippians 2:12-30 (NIV)
Do Everything Without Grumbling
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. 14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
Timothy and Epaphroditus
19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know that Timothy has proved himself because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23 I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. 24 And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon. 25 But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. 26 For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. 29 So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, 30 because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.
Do you find it easy to give praise? Why?
Lord, there are many things that are making me feel very threatened right now, the virus ramping up, financially, emotionally, politically, jobs, isolation from family and friends, and the loss of corporate worship. All those things are Satan’s best efforts to crush my spirit and to distract me from trusting You. Today I am not going to focus on them. Today, instead of fearing, grumbling and complaining, I lift my praise to You for all that You have done in the midst of the problems. I thank and praise you for those who are responding to and caring for those that are ill. I praise You for inspiring medical researchers who have responded to create tests, vaccines, and medication to treat suffering people. I praise You as You call manufacturers to retool to build equipment and protective supplies at amazing speed. People are hurting but businesses, charities, churches, and individuals are responding in cooperation to help in the cause. People are sacrificing their freedoms to keep others safe. Your Word is getting out through many online messages to feed those who need to hear it and massive numbers of people are tuning in. There is so much to praise You for, Lord. You use all situations for Your good. You isolated yourself and sacrificed Your position of authority in heaven. You came to earth and gave Your life for me so that I could be with You for eternity. I can now trust that You are in control as you rule on earth and in heaven. Thank You that You are with me now and give me the reason for eternal hope. Lord, I pray for miracles to exterminate the virus, to allow people to go back to work soon and safely. Get us through this quickly, Lord, but in the meantime, open my eyes to see the wonderful things you are during in us, around us and through us during this crisis. I am glad and I rejoice in You. Amen