27 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 28 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. – Philippians 1:27-28
Paul says, “Whatever happens…” Have you ever thought about that term? That means that no matter what – whether in the good, bad, triumph, sorrow, health, wellness, tragedy or the victory – act in this way or that way. We have said that, or at least things like that. ‘Whatever happens, remember I love you.’ ‘Whatever happens, don’t forget the milk.’ ‘Whatever happens, be nice.’ You know that term usually indicates that there will be a situation that will try to keep us from doing whatever it is we are told to do, and in this case Paul writes that we, as followers of Jesus, are to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the good news of Jesus… we are to stand firm together as one. We are not to be frightened if and when people oppose us.
I think that faith in God, I mean true and genuine faith, is for those “whatever happens” moments. Right now, I know a lot of people who are hurting and struggling not only to stay true in their relationship to God, but even to survive. They are struggling to find joy, peace or hope… and they are in that “whatever happens” time period of life.
How can Paul say things like that? He can because he went through some pretty intense “whatever happens” moments. And, on top of that, he was talking to a church, in Philippi, that knew what it meant to be persecuted. The faith that we have in Jesus Christ is not such that all things should go well, but rather that when they don’t we still have a God onto whom we can hold.
Let it be our call to remind everyone that the good news of Jesus is not that everything in our lives will go perfectly, but that even when they don’t we are loved and we are saved!