Philippians 2:9-11

Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:9-11
God is constantly reminding us that he is working. He is active and moving in our lives today and this truth is usually easy to get on board with - when life is going well. A healthy family, stable finances, and good weekly rhythms – life is good! God is at work, and I’m sure he is. Yet we cannot equate good things in this life with God working in our lives. In reality, the opposite is usually how God ends up working. He will use the difficult seasons and hardships in our lives to reveal more of himself to us. God uses pain to grow us. In my own life, I’ve seen this play out so many times.
 
When my grandpa was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer and ended up leaving this earth to be with Jesus, God helped me understand that this life is so, so short compared to eternity. When my parents went through divorce, God taught me so much about his faithfulness. Even when our earthly parents mess up and are not faithful, God is. And even when I myself am unfaithful, God is. God used two of the most painful times in my life to reveal more of himself to me, to bring sweet victories out of defeat.
 
This is the theme of this passage in Philippians. Verses 9-11 are speaking of the victory, yet look and see what had just happened beforehand.
 
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:8)
 
Jesus endured the pain of the cross, the weight of our sin, the death that we all deserved. He bore that, and therefore, God exalted him to the highest place. In the midst of Jesus’ hardest time on this earth, God was working and bringing victory out of what was an apparent defeat.
 
When we long for this in our own lives, may we not just look to earthly victories but to the ultimate victory that is still to come. There will come a day when every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. The end of the story has already been written. Jesus wins. This should be such an encouragement to us. Yes, we are tempted to be brought down by the heaviness of this life, yet when we consider eternity it gives us a reason to hope. It gives us a reason to have joy in the midst of sorrow. It gives us the reminder that this life isn’t all there is. Jesus is coming back again, and for those of us who have placed our faith in him, we will be with him forever.
 
And this hope relies entirely on Jesus and what he’s done, not on you or me. It’s a hope that can never be taken away.
 
 Questions for Reflection:
  1.  Take a moment and make a list of all the hardships that you have gone through in life, perhaps some of these are current trials.
  2.  What has God been revealing about himself to you through these difficulties?
  3. What has he been teaching you? How will you respond to him?
Garrett Crown | Student Ministries Associate

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