I had a divine appointment with a special woman who became one of the best friends I’ve ever had. I responded to a prayer request for her husband who had progressive MS, and it turned out she had ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Becky became the mentor and big sister I never had and she was an amazing prayer warrior. She soon became a prisoner in her own body, barely able to talk or move, still I knew she never stopped praying for me, my family and many others until her last breath and her joy came from her relationship with Jesus.

In Philippians chapter 1, Paul thanks the Philippian believers for supporting his ministry. Paul encourages them by explaining that all of his suffering has been for a good cause. Even better, attempts to persecute Paul have caused the gospel to spread and Paul is grateful. He fully expects to be released, and to see the believers of Philippi again. Whether Paul was free to preach, or trapped in a prison cell, the Philippian believers sent him their love and full support. Many others would leave Paul during his ministry, yet the Philippians remained loyal and faithful.

Even if we are not physically in prison, we can be trapped in a mental prison of anxiety and fear. Or we get stuck in the better days of the past, or the traumatic days. We are looking in the rearview mirror, (going nowhere) or we are worried about the future, and missing joy in the moment.

Paul focuses on encouraging the believers in Philippi and looking forward with hope. We don’t see him wallowing in his suffering, bemoaning his circumstances or any thing we might do in jail, but remembering God’s calling, he presses on . . . “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14) Press on means going against the odds to do something; it means despite every obstacle standing in your way you force your way through. It’s pushing against the wind.

Are you feeling stuck in some way, unable to experience joy? We care and want to come alongside you and/or pray for and with you. Please reach out by replying to this email or click here and visit Prayer – Emmanuel Faith Community Church.

God remains with the discouraged and hopeful—the skeptics and saints. And we have the gift and freedom of inviting others to experience His joy and faithfulness, too!

Blessings on your day,

Deb Hill
Exec. Assistant to Pastor Ryan

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