Bible Book: Philippians / Filipense
Chapter: 4
Verse: 1
Verse (to): 9


Philippians 4:1-9

We only have to spend a few minutes with this passage to realise what a wealth of thoughts are packed into these nine verses. With words of wisdom Paul is ministering encouragement (verse 1) and reconciliation (verses 2-3) as well as elevating his readers with wonderful heartening advice how to live positive lives in a broken world (verses 4-9).
How is it possible that Paul could write such positive advice while being in prison (cf 1:12-26)? And it is not only this passage that is so positive. The whole letter is full of joy and thankfulness. (The noun “joy” or the verb “rejoice” are used sixteen times in the letter!) How is it possible that Paul is not complaining, negative and depressed?
I think the answers to these questions can be found in these verses. Paul can be positive in the midst of his dismal circumstances because he is standing firm in the Lord (verse 1). He lives in reconciled relationships (verse 2-3). His joy is in the Lord (verse 4). He takes all his worries in prayer to the Lord (verse 6). And he makes sure that his mind is focused on all these positive matters (verse 8).
Therefore he can witness that there is peace even in prison (verse 7).
Paul is writing from experience. His advice has been tested by his imprisonment.
To think about (or discuss): What enables us to be positive in the midst of the challenges of the HIV pandemic?
Author: N du Toit (Ds)
Language: English