Philippians 2:16 – 18 Pauls perspective on suffering

Stop your grumbling and arguing with God and each other; be children of God who shine as
lights in this dark world; and lean into suffering service for others with joy. These are the
exhortations that Paul gives to the Philippian church in 2:14-18, ‘Do all things without
grumbling or disputing,
that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without
blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights
in the world,
holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud
that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering
upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.
Likewise you
also should be glad and rejoice with me.’ Today we come to that part where Paul is talking
about suffering, v16-18, but notice that Paul talks about his own suffering. The Philippian
church is suffering persecution, we see this clearly in 1:29-30. They are discouraged
because their favourite apostle is in prison, the gospel seems to have ground to a halt, and
they themselves are in the thick of it with persecutions, false teachers and divisions. Life is
hard and like so many of us, when life is hard we are not able to be joyful, hopeful, full of
faith and trust in God. One of the things Paul does throughout this letter is put a Christian
perspective on suffering.