Persecution often has the opposite effect of its intention. When the
church in China faced persecution it went from 14 million to 100
million. Paul who is writing this letter to the church in Philippi is in
chains but says it is actually advancing the gospel.
When Paul was in Philippi (Acts 16) he was beaten and imprisoned
for his faith. This letter is an encouragement to the believers there
who he knows are facing persecution. We as believers don’t need to
fear persecution, but need to act in a Godly manner under it.
Prayer is one of the most important tools we have in fighting the
Christian fight. It is our direct channel to God and it is where we can
be provided our greatest joy. Paul is clearly joyful here and many
persecuted believers today are the same. If we are to have joy in the
Christian life, we must be praying.
Tim Reid (Open Doors Australia)