To Die is Gain

Week 6 Day 5

Philippians 1:21-23
21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 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. 23 But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better
More than we realize life is a matter of perspective. If I show you a glass of water you could see it as half full or half empty, and you would be right. Some of us see rainy days as inconvenient or sad while others see it as an opportunity to read a good book or stay in and watch a movie. For many last-minute plans bring anxiety while to others it gives them the rush of adventure they need to help them get through the week. Most of us view failure as personal incompetence in some way, or a sign that we should give up, while it could be viewed as an opportunity to learn or a chance to try something new. The way we view ourselves, God, and our circumstances is often a matter of our own perspective or point of view which can be dangerous if not filtered through the lens of biblical truth.

Paul’s perspective in these verses is truly admirable as he reflects on his imprisonment in his letter to the Philippian church. He sees everything that is happening to him as a success as he views himself as a citizen of God’s kingdom and sees his circumstances as a means in which the gospel is advancing. Paul’s perspective is not determined by his comfort or personal success but is driven by his purpose and prize. If he continues to live, he has the privilege and purpose to serve Christ and advance his kingdom, but if he dies, he has the opportunity to be with his Christ who is his ultimate prize. He cannot choose which he would rather have, and although his desires are competing, his aim is not. He is pursuing Christ, whether in life or death.

This attitude is no secret sauce, but a recognition of identity and purpose. Paul, by the work of Christ in his life, knew what he was made for and who He belonged to, and this was his motivation in every circumstance. Christ has defeated death and atoned for our sins through his death and resurrection. To be with Christ for eternity far outweighs anything we experience on this earth, but while we continue living, we have everything to live for as we have the privilege of advancing Christ’s kingdom and being a faithful witness for Him. As believers, we truly are in a win-win situation!

Reflection and Prayer

What is my current perspective on my circumstances in life? Am I viewing my life through from a biblical point of view?

In what ways can I cultivate a mindset that aligns more closely with Paul’s perspective in the face of difficulties?

Jesus, you are my purpose and my prize. There is no scenario where I do not have victory in you whether in life or in death. Help me cultivate a perspective that is centered on you and the advancement of the gospel in every area of life. Help me live without fear of death knowing I will spend eternity with you. I find my joy in you.

Faith Bible Staff