When you’re facing hardship, pain, suffering, and life’s challenges, the last thing you’d imagine pursuing is joy. The Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians from prison and shared with them what was most important and how to pursue joy in all circumstances. While happiness is often based on circumstances, Paul encourages these believers to focus on their Prince of Peace, Jesus, and the eternal hope they have in Him. It’s through Jesus that you can have joy even when the circumstances are challenging and painful.
Use this Bible study on Philippians 1:12-26 for both your personal spiritual growth and with those you’re discipling. Use this Bible study on Philippians 1:12-26 for both your personal spiritual growth and with those you’re discipling.
The Philippians had sent Epaphroditus (a representative from the church in Philippi) to Paul because they had heard that Paul was in need. Since Epaphroditus’ departure, they had probably heard nothing from Paul. They may well have supposed that his ministry was at a standstill and that he was understandably depressed. But the news Epaphroditus brought was different. Read Philippians 1:12-26 (NIV) with the eagerness the Philippians might have felt for news from Paul. Think about how remarkable Paul’s attitudes are and notice how he found joy in all circumstances.
Read Philippians 1:12-26
1. How does Paul describe his circumstances? How has his imprisonment affected others?
2. How might your circumstances serve to advance the gospel?
3. Do you ever lose your courage in sharing the gospel? If so, what kinds of situations discourage you? How would Paul overcome such discouragement?
4. Notice how many times Paul talks about rejoicing or finding joy in all circumstances. What causes him to rejoice and why?
5. How will Christ be exalted if Paul lives or if he dies?
6. Which one of the attitudes Paul expresses in this Scripture passage seems especially relevant to your current circumstances? How could you follow Paul’s example with regard to this attitude?
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Content adapted from Philippians (LifeChange Bible Study). Copyright © 2018 by NavPress. Used by permission of NavPress represented by Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.
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