holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. (Philippians 2:16, ESV)Remember, we are not grumbling or complaining, so that we can be lights in the world. This is a difficult task. This is an important task. How are we to do this? Or, I guess I should say, in what way are we to do this? "... holding fast to the world of life..."
This phrase is more important than one might assume. The avoidance of complaint in this life, the ability to keep this life's woes at bay and not allow its frustrations to overcome us and flow from our lips is a great challenge. We do this when we hold on tightly to the word of life, the good news of the gospel message.
What does this look like? There are a variety of ways that this can be accomplished:
- When we feel overwhelmed by the bad news that bombards us each day, remember the good news that this world will be made new and ruled by our King Jesus (Revelation 21:1-3).
- When we weep at the losses that we face, whether of people or relationships or the dreams that we thought might have been, hold on to the truth that every tear will be wiped away (Revelation 7:17).
- When we are ill and our bodies aren't functioning the way they ought to, remember that this is only a tent that we live in, we will one day be given a permanent dwelling, a new body (2 Corinthians 5:1-5).
- When we sin, and we will, and the guilt of that sin seems overwhelming, remember that the actual guilt of sin and all of its penalty was poured upon Jesus on the cross: He bore our sins (I Peter 2:24, Isaiah 53:5).
- When we are tired, when we are weary, when we are burdened by the tasks that this life sets before us as we attempt to live it God's way, remember that Christ calls all who are weary and heavy laden, that he might give them rest (Matthew 11:28).
Whatever it is that is beckoning you to grumble and dispute with those around you, hold fast to the world of life. Those that have shared with you these words, those that have taught and preached to you the gospel, those that have, themselves, suffered through this life in order to share with you the good news... they will rejoice on that day!