Paul is one of my favorite characters in the bible. Thinking about the apostle Paul, his transformation and the suffering that he endured in his life all while praising God and encouraging other Christians to do the same, gives me hope. Hope that God can do great things through a sinner like me. I have great respect for Paul. He endured so much hardship and continued to walk the walk. He persevered in his faith. To him to live was Christ and to die was gain. His story is inspirational to me and to many others.
Last year, I decided to choose a focus word. Courage. It was helpful during some of the challenges we faced in 2016 to remind myself of this word and the different bible verses that call us to be courageous (1 Chronicles 28:20; 1 Corinthians 16:13; Deuteronomy 31:6; 2 Timothy 1:7; Ephesians 6:10).
This year, I chose a focus verse. And I’ll remind myself of the message in this verse everyday. Philippians 4:8. Paul wrote this letter from prison. He spent a lot of time in prison for openly and publicly teaching that Jesus is the Son of God. Even though he knew that he was probably living out his last days in prison, he was filled with JOY, and encouraged his brothers and sisters in Christ to live out their faith in joy and unity. I want to be a person who walks in the ways of the Lord. I want to encourage others to live out their days with joy in the Lord whatever their circumstances may be. I know that my thoughts greatly influence and determine my actions. For 2017, Philippians 4:8 is a great place to start each day.