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Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
To live is Christ, and to die is gain. What do we have to lose as Christians? Nothing in this world matters except what we are doing to point others to Christ. This world is not our home. This life is not our end. Heaven awaits, and in the meantime we have work to do here. May we never settle for loving this world and all that it has to offer. We are here for a purpose: to glorify God in the here and now. What you are going through is not a mistake. There is a greater purpose in all our sorrows and celebrations. Because of Paul’s chains, he was able to reach a group of soldiers he otherwise would not have been able to reach. When we live for Christ, we realize we have gained heaven. Paul was able to rejoice despite his circumstances because his joy was not found in the present, but in what was to come.
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