Our scripture this morning is Philippians 1:27-30.
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.
Paul brings up an important point for our faith lives, that we must “stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you” (v. 27-28). Jesus told us we would face opposition to our faith, just as He did. He taught that God is with us through every trial and that by standing in faith, we stand against the ways of the world.
It is always easier to “go with the flow” and evil is counting on our compliance. Jesus calls us to love even our enemies, but not to compromise our faith in doing so. Paul writes “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). This is the “secret” of our faith, to remain firm against sin without sinning in return.
God wants us to remember we are all His children and to treat each other with the respect and care He intended from the beginning. Jesus forgave those who crucified Him and we are called to forgive those who speak and act against us. Our faith requires nothing less.
Loving Lord, we sometimes feel that the whole world is against us. Renew our faith and give us strength to stand strong in love and share the Good News. Amen.