Philippians 1:16
Adding Affliction

16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:

Let us be glad when God uses others to continue to further the work we once were able to do. They may be inclined to do it differently so we need to give them the credit of being the Lord’s servant for that time and place. Paul was neither self-seeking nor filled with self-pity because of the circumstances in which he found himself. He could, and so should we, rejoice in all that God was doing through others as well as himself. It is not wrong to ask for prayer that the difficulties will pass. But there are resources and power available to us in the Spirit who can change everything in a moment if that is God’s will. When that does not happen, it is up to us to make that time an opportunity for the Gospel, rather than question the faithfulness of God. What could have brought sadness brought joy.

The words seem right but the motives insincere.
It seems like they want to make burdens harder to bear.
I am not sure what satisfaction they would gain,
By adding affliction to the already present pain.
Perhaps there is some benefit they perceive
Would come from someone if the moment they seize.
But to, in mockery, preach God’s glorious Gospel,
Is an action that really is seriously awful.

It may be for some kind of selfish ambition,
They preach Christ as a form of competition
Supposing those that listen to them
Will all choose to turn away from him
Who God has sent into this situation
To preach Christ and His salvation
In order to reach those who would not hear
Unless some unusual reason brought them there.

So we will not despair.
It is God who brought us here.
All the reasons may yet be unclear
But God’s truth we are here to share.
And in spite of added affliction,
God can be glorified even in competition.
And blessings come to those who hear
Because the Lord has left us here.

“Father God, and Lord of the harvest: for Thy own honor and glory, bless the word that will be presented to those who hear in this place. Those who came and walked away may return if they really want Thy truth to be practiced in their lives. Help us to be faithful to Thee this day. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.”

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