Joyful Confidence in Future Deliverance – Philippians 1:18b-26
18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.
Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.
As he writes in chains, awaiting his verdict, Paul acknowledges that there are two choices before him—life and death. They aren’t really his choices, but he uses that word to address the fact that his own death is a very real and imminent possibility, and he has a preference. By his own example, Paul models for us what it looks like to find joyful confidence in our future deliverance, even in the face of death.