Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me. Philippians 2:13-18
Here we go again, I feel Eeyore being part of my devotional stories lately. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. I want to shine friends. I want to shine like a star in the dark sky – I love that image. But it’s tough to go through life without grumbling or arguing. It’s difficult to maintain a positive attitude and outlook when the cards seemed stacked against you. But here’s Paul, once again reminding us of how we are supposed to act because of the faith we have in our Lord, Jesus Christ, not based on the circumstances surrounding us. We are here to fulfill His good purpose (not our own) and He is working in us (what a comfort that is).
We all have different purposes and plans in our lives that God wants us to fulfill. We are here for His purpose and plan – not ours. That’s also hard to grasp sometimes when your boss gives you deadlines or a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness. It’s not about us – it’s all about Him. (I’m still working on this part too.)
I know it’s probably not possible to wake up tomorrow and all of our grumbling and arguing will disappear, but we can start taking small steps. We can try to see the positive in all of the various people and situations and see if that helps to change our perspective. But of course we also need to pray – asking God to help us to stop our arguing and grumbling and shine His light. With God’s help, we can shine for others so that they will see Him in us. “Our job is to shine until Jesus returns and bathes the world in His radiant glory.” Let’s shine together friends!
Father God – help us Lord to shine for You. Help us to let go of bitterness, rage, envy, negativity, arguing, grumbling, and all of the bad habits we cling to, instead of to You. Free us Lord and help us to be who You want us to be. Thank you Jesus! Amen.