Paul's attitude towards his imprisonment and even a possible death sentence encourages us and gets us ready for persecution that may lie ahead. The heart of this letter is thankfulness in every situation whether something we see as positive or something we see as negative. Paul tells the believers in Philippi that the impact of the gospel has broadened through his imprisonment as more have taken up the mantle of Christ. He even admits that some people may do it out of spite or vainglory, but his heart is for Jesus to be proclaimed in every province of the Roman Empire. Once again, a thankful heart helps us see the work that God is doing through our hardship. Paul wants these believers to understand the truth that God is Sovereign. He sees every step, and He also sees the finish line, and He is working everything for His glory and our good. When we believe that, then a surprise diagnosis or a separation of family due to a new job do not produce the same burden and hurt. God has a purpose in what He is doing in that diagnosis and in that separation so stop trying to fix it and start trusting in His plan and be thankful. That mindset will transform how you look at life and how you handle hardships. Paul's challenge is to show the world who Jesus is in the good and the difficult moments of life.

Help me, Lord, to know without a doubt that You are in complete control. Help me to stay faithful and thankful no matter how difficult or painful life may get.