Rejoicing and mourning
Paul really cared about the Philippian fellowship so he starts out by talking about behavior so the world will understand who they are in Jesus Christ. (14) "Do all things without murmurings and disputings. (15) That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world." 2:14-15.
If God called us to do something the one thing we don't want to do is grumble because the countenance of Jesus Christ will not be shining through us and as a result our behavior will resemble and represent the dark side of life. God desires us to have cheerful obedience as opposed to quarreling which does not point to Jesus Christ but it does misrepresent Him. If we are a phone operator at a company would we scream at the customer? We represent the business so that would be unthinkable for us to respond like that or engage in that type of behavior.
We need to obey and not dispute with the right attitude because a peaceable nature is evidence that we love God and others with the light of truth glowing through our souls. I noticed work is usually associated with some sort of conflict of interest. For example someone may say, "I only have so much time to do this" but we serve a God who created "Time" and can show through example that we are working hard but not intimidated by the deadline. Another one is, "I am doing this but I really don't want to" but that spirit can be transferred to a willing heart for Jesus Christ.
Some Christians say we are all just small candles around the world but Jesus Christ is not a little light because His radiance is so strong that if we were to see Him in our flesh our optic nerves in our eyes would become blind. This is only if we were to see Him in all of His glory. We are representing the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Apostle John had a similar experience when he saw Jesus Christ in Revelation chapter one. "And when I saw Him, I fell at his feet as dead. And He laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last." Revelation 1:17.
Paul says that he wants us to be blameless and harmless as sons of God because obviously some kind of rebuke is coming to our bad character if we have bad behavior. If we engage in this at the very least under the surface we want to hurt somebody but most people do not even realize that wrong responses may injure someone else and not bring glory to God.
Paul talks about a crooked and perverse nation in this passage. The real truth of the matter is if we grumble and have a bad spirit we are no different than the world. We should be extra mindful that we are without blame so we don't hurt or injure someone or a group in an already crooked and perverse society because that is just adding insult in injury.
Paul says we are to shine as lights in the world so when God raises up good people on this earth He is setting up the radiance of His Son Jesus Christ in different locations on this earth to be a witness to other people for His glory.
(16) "Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain. (17) Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all." 2:16-17.
First we have to know what the Bible says but conviction with knowledge. In keeping with the subject of light the candlestick holds the candle so just imagine that we are holding the Bible (candlestick) and declaring the word of God (candle) but not as a weapon but one that really desires to impart the truth of God. This is for the benefit of others and should never be for our selves.
Paul said he was going to rejoice in the day of Christ because his motives were right and he was useful for the cause of Christ otherwise he would have ran in vain and labored for no real heavenly purpose. If we do what we are doing for ourselves we get no reward in heaven. This makes me think why am I doing what I am doing? Paul ran with intensity but he labored with the right reasons for the kingdom of God.
When Paul said ... "If I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith" ... he was saying that he did this with joy. If we truly take a direct loss because we served Jesus Christ in this case for the Philippian church be joyful which is just the opposite of what we were taught in our culture. At the very least over here in America if we get burnt or fail through some sort of deduction at that point we are considered losers especially in business. Paul is saying because I lost I am now more joyful. If this takes a while for you to figure out then don't be to hard on yourself because most people were trained the opposite way. I have taken a loss in business but the kingdom of God goes by an entirely different set of rules. If you lose for the cause of Christ you win.
(18) "For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me. (19) But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state." 2:18-19.
If you will notice the Bible talks about joy and rejoicing in many passages. It is only reasonable to conclude that we should be doing the same thing especially in context if our minister has sacrificed so much for his listeners. He has probably inspired people to come to Jesus Christ and get into the truth of the word of God. Heaven is rejoicing so the Holy Spirit is saying we should be joyful too because we are just singing with all those involved in Paradise. We are joining the heavenly chorus.
Paul wanted to send Timothy and he also wanted a report back to him. He was thinking about them much and desired to be comforted because he was concerned for them. Paul is being punished in prison but still put the Philippian church first before himself. This Apostle really cared about this body of believers and wanted to send a man who had a good spirit and a very tender heart. The world teaches us to be tough but the Bible urges us to have a soul full of mercy. The way of the world goes in one direction and the way through Jesus Christ goes in the opposite path.
(20) "For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. (21) For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's." 2:20-21.
Paul had a very high opinion of Timothy. What Paul was saying was when I compare everyone I know to this man he does not want credit, ease or safety but cares about truth, holiness and his responsibility before God. Do we have a person in our life that is dependable for the right reasons? Not everybody does but you can always count on Jesus Christ. If you don't know Him it would be wise to accept Jesus Christ into your heart by repenting of all your sins and inviting Him into your life.
I am going to leave verses 22-26 out because Paul is repeating himself. Paul was thinking about sending Epaphroditus to the church but he almost died because of a sickness. In verse 27 Paul basically says God spared that man's life because his sorrow would have been to much to handle.
Jesus Christ knows all about grief. There is never a day that goes by that our Lord does not face sorrow in what He sees on this earth. If your heart is vexed day after day because of what you observe in this world then understand that is a good sign. It might be very painful but we are in the heart of Jesus Christ. "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4. How did you get from rejoicing to mourning? Rejoicing in our Lord Jesus Christ is wonderful but we do not grow without pain. We need to pray to God that He can show us how to balance the two for His glory in our Christian life.
God Bless you,