Philippians chapter 1 verses 21 to 30 - The Secret of Joy in the Face of Fear - JS Gillespie 

“for me to live is Christ to die is gain” (1:21) 

We saw how for those who were: 

led by the spirit and 
obedient to the Spirit 

That 1:21 is a great assurance and comfort that when lead and guided by the spirit of God we can look at our current circumstances with the assurance that he ‘leads is in the paths of righteousness for his name sake.’ 

Therefore the path no matter how difficult it is, it is for: 

For his glory 
For our good 
For others blessings 

So it was for: 

David in the Valley of Elah 
Daniel in the lions den 
Esther in Ahasuerus Palace 
Nehemiah in an Artaxerxes Palace 
Joseph in the prison 

Paul can look around: 

‘He leadeth me o blessed thought 

O words with heavenly comfort fraught 

What’er I do, where’er I be 

Still is God's hand that leadeth me’ 

Believers 73 

Verse21 becomes a comfort as Paul sees the impact of his life lived for Christ on the: 


The light of life when magnified through the lens of Christ becomes laser like in its power and effectiveness 

Not only do we see the truth of 1:21 in looking at the present circumstances but also in looking to the future circumstances; ‘heads I win tails you lose.’ 

Verse 21 

Believers 160 

‘my rest is in heaven my rest is not here 

then why should I murmur 

when trials are near 

be hushed my sad spirit 

the worst that can come 

but shortens the journey 

and hastens me home’ 

For Paul either outcome is positive. 

Life - for the glory of Christ on Earth 

Death - for the glory of Christ eternally 

We ought not to be like those, once parodied by a GP friend of mine who described Christians in his hometown as being those who sing about going to heaven on Sunday and then spend Monday morning in his waiting room doing the very best not actually to avoid going there! 

for Paul heaven can wait not for selfish reasons and not for reasons of unbelief but heaven can wait because Paul desires to be faithful in his labour. 

Paul's fearlessness is infectious 

We can see the infectiousness of fear in Philippines 1 We can also perceive the infectiousness of faith / fearless Faith 

The secret of Paul's confidence in Christ 

Here is the power that dispels fear: Joy 

Paul's ministry characterized by (v25) 

furtherance -  progress and encouragement 

Nothing harsh / hard / cold 

Positive ministry of encouragement 

Paul looks for more abundant rejoicing in Jesus Christ (v26) 

What does he mean by rejoicing in Jesus Christ? 

Herein is the key to fearlessness (v28) 

Rejoice in his person v26b 
Rejoice in his presence 4:4-6 
Rejoice in his provision of Salvation 4:3 
Rejoice in his peace 4:7 
Rejoice in his preservation 4:7 
Rejoice in prayer 4:6 
Rejoice in practicable Providence 4:10 

Fear does the opposite of joy (Luke chp 2 vs 10) 

‘Joy in Christ that removes fear’ how it began how it continues (Luke chp 2 verse 10) 

Joel chapter 2 verse 21 “fear not o land and be glad and rejoice for the lord will do great things” 

Focus on fear -> makes afraid 

Focus on Christ -> rejoice 

Joy is the antidote for fear 

Joy inspires testimony 

Joy strengthens faith 

Many fight the enemy because of fear: 

fear of death 
Fear of defeat 
Fear of reprisal 

Paul stands firm because he has overcome fear consider: 

Shadrach Meshach and Abednigo