Daily Devotion For Friday April 07, 2017

Philippians 1:21-30

Friday, April 7, 2017

Philippians 1:21-30

In Act III Scene 1 of “Hamlet,” the main character pauses and delivers a soliloquy within which he poses the question, “To be, or not to be--that is the question: Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them.” Paul, perhaps under stresses that were similar to those affecting the Prince of Denmark, writes to the believers in Philippi that he is “desiring to depart and be with Christ” (vs. 23). On the other hand, he writes, “But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account” (vs. 24). Hamlet, in answer his question argues that in death “We end the heartache, and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to. Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.” Hamlet continues to consider his two options of staying alive and fighting or ending the struggle, but he is uncertain about what could occur after death. “To die, to sleep--to sleep--perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub, for in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause.” In contrast, Paul was most certain of his options and feared neither of them. Personally, he would rather be with Christ (vs. 23), but for the sake of the believers in the Macedonian town of Philippi, Paul would “continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith” (vs. 25). Paul is content with his decision to serve the church and the believers but makes that choice not out of fear at the alternative but with the conviction that remaining in service is the better choice for the good of the whole church. Quite the opposite, Hamlet cannot decide because he fears the consequences of one of his options. He eventually ends up with the decision being made for him.

Wise and loving God: Give us the strength through faith that we can live with the confidence that once our service is over we will join the saints who have gone before us.
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