I shall continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith, so that your boasting may abound in Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:25–26
As those who follow Jesus in the obedience of faith, what’s the best way to celebrate any measure of success that we experience? Abundant boasting! More and more: more talk of how gracious, generous, faithful, practical, timely, appropriate, surprising, and useful Jesus has been toward us. More and more: more immediate, frequent, and exuberant; more accurate, bold, reverent, and personal praise for “mercy and well-timed grace” in the midst of all our endeavors. Untiring, unending, and unobjectionable testimony. Faith is not complete until boasting occurs, because praise affirms both the receipt and the recognition of Jesus’ glorious gifts. Paul also chose to live and create such boasting as he served others in Jesus’ name; we can have a similar priority. We too can choose to continue to minister in ways that cause people to progress in their faith and experience an increase in the enjoyment of the way Jesus comes through for them every day. What a joy! What a challenge! For we can help others progress only if we are progressing. When the result of our daily confidence is an abundance of boasting, then we can work for the same pattern in others. This promise keeps us going: when others progress and find joy in their faith, boasting in Jesus will abound.
O Lord, grant me Paul’s maturity in the face of every trial, Paul’s patience with those I serve, and Paul’s joy as I experience success. Amen.