Living with Confidence - Joy #4
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith, so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again. -Philippians 1:21-26
In this passage, Paul has a unique confidence in two ideas. He is absolutely confident that his labor will produce fruit and he understood his capacity to determine if he was going to stay on earth or go and be with Jesus.
Paul is in charge of his life. Even though he is in jail, jail is not in him. His circumstances are not determining his confidence.
Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. -Hebrews 10:35
Life is better with Godly confidence.
Here are some key components in Paul’s mentality.
1. Truly believe God’s will is abundant fruitfulness
Paul was convinced that his labor would produce fruit. Maybe we’re not convinced that God desires that for all of us. We have this idea that some people will be productive or fruitful and blessed and others won’t. Until we become convinced that productivity is the will of God, it’s going to be hard to be convinced that your labor will be productive.
2. Understand the value of work
Productivity requires labor. All worthwhile things require work in order to be accomplished.
Find work that allows you to tap into what makes you come alive! Find what God has called you to do and then you start to express yourself creatively.
3. Move your center of gravity
Paul’s center of gravity wasn’t in his circumstances. It was in another dimension. He had a largeness of spirit on the inside – in the inner man.
His circumstances didn’t define who he was or what he could or couldn’t do. He dealt with life from an entirely different center of gravity.
Don’t get derailed by circumstances. Nobody accomplishes anything great without having to overcome some kind of difficulty. Spend time in the word of God and in prayer and worship. Move off circumstances and center your thinking and direction and attitude in another dimension.
4. Stay on the path of progress
Paul was committed to two things for those believers. He was committed to progress and joy in the faith. Confidence doesn’t happen when you arrive. As long as we are progressing we’re on the right path.
5. Keep the joy factor strong
Paul is committed to the Philippians joy. Joy is not a fluffy extra, it’s a vital necessity. If we leave out the joy factor we miss Biblical Christianity.
Beyond all of this the most important thing that can happen in your heart is that you are able to connect with the person of Jesus Christ. All of this is not just some steps to go through. All of this springs out of a relationship with Jesus.