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Overcoming a Struggle with Joy

Scripture Reference for this episode:
Philippians 1:12-30 New International Version (NIV)

Paul’s Chains Advance the Gospel

12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[a] that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard[b] and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.[c] 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted 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 go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
Life Worthy of the Gospel

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,[d] 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. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.


What do you feel chained to?  How could you use that to share Jesus?  Tell us how you’re struggling today.

27 Comments

  1. Patrice 1 year ago March 9, 2016

    I have written before but no one answered. I am struggling greatly having fibromyalgia. It completely limits me from being able to do much because I have so much pain and so little energy.

    Please, please pray for me as I am seriously wondering why I am still on this earth. I so want to go home to heaven!!

    REPLY
    • maureen 1 year ago March 9, 2016

      Praying for you, Patrice.

      REPLY
    • linda Barrick 1 year ago March 9, 2016

      Hi Patrice, Thank you for your post and for connecting with us.
      We did respond on the blog last time and we have been praying for you. Here is our response from last week:

      LINDA BARRICK 1 WEEK AGO
      MARCH 2, 2016
      Hey Patrice,
      So great to meet and connect with you. Thank you for sharing about Miracle for Jen. That was our prayer that God would use MFJ in a powerful way in the lives of those who read it.
      Dear Heavenly Father, Please wrap your arms of love and peace around Patrice. Please heal her body of the pain and provide her energy to serve You, Lord. Amen! Love, Linda and Jen

      We will continue to pray for you. God has an amazing plan for your life that only you can fulfill. Lord, Please come to Patrice’s rescue, Please heal her and take away her pain Lord Jesus. Amen.
      Love, Linda and Jen

      REPLY
  2. Lisa 1 year ago March 9, 2016

    Hi Linda & Jen.

    I am loving these thanks. God Bless your family.

    What do you feel chained to? I feel chained to my headaches when I get them I have to have my house in darkness and I don’t like darkness.

    How could you use that to share Jesus? Today I was waiting at the bus stop and this guy named Joe he is 20 was crying and I noticed a ankle bracelet on his leg and I was not shy and so I asked him why was he wereing that and out of know were he stared crying it said my life is messed up I was doing drugs and drinking and I was abuser to my girl friend and my 3mouth old girl. Then he went on telling me other things he had done that he wants to change. He is now working but the courts are watching his every move please pray for him.

    Tell us how you’re struggling today. Today and every day I struggle with my headaches and now I go for MRI to find out what is going on when the docors can’t find anything so they do more tests this is my life and my struggle. Please pray for me thanks.

    REPLY
    • linda Barrick 1 year ago March 9, 2016

      Hi Lisa,
      Thank you for sharing. Lord Jesus, Thank You that You love us and that You died for us. You, Lord Jesus, are the Savior of the World. Please heal Lisa’s headaches and give the Dr.’s wisdom to help her. May Lisa cling to You, Lord and Your promises! We also lift up Joe. May Joe seek you Lord, because You are Hope and Life. Amen.
      Love, Linda and Jen

      REPLY
      • Lisa 1 year ago March 9, 2016

        Thank you so much for your prayers and your words to me. Yes Lord heal me from these headaches. Heal Joe from all he is gong through I pray for Joe that he will find Jesus. God Bless you both.

        REPLY
  3. Jonna Barrick Marsh 1 year ago March 9, 2016

    This was an encouraging devotional! I feel chained to the things that cancer left me with: chemo brain, severe neuropathy in my feet, limited mobility, etc. But, in spite of everything, it’s good to be alive.

    REPLY
    • linda Barrick 1 year ago March 9, 2016

      Hi Jonna, One Day we will see Jesus face to face and All will be made New!! Lord Jesus, You are our Hope and Expectation. Please help Jonna. Please continue to heal her brain and remove the pain from her neuropathy. We put our trust in You alone Lord! Amen. Love, Linda and Jen

      REPLY
  4. Nikki 1 year ago March 9, 2016

    What do I feel chained to? I’m at work every day.
    How could I share Jesus? I’m going to share Bible Talk with some of the ladies that I work with who need hope. One lady’s husband jut left her and another lady has cancer. Thank you for encouraging me to get out of my comfort zone and be a light! I’m excited to see what God will do.
    Please pray for me Jen! I want to share Jesus like you do and not worry what people think about me.

    REPLY
    • linda Barrick 1 year ago March 9, 2016

      Dear Nikki, Thank you for sharing and connecting with us through Bible Talk. Lord Jesus, Please give Nikki boldness to share You with people at her work. May she know that her work is her mission field. Help her to not worry about what others think but to be consumed with You Lord and Your plan for her life.
      Amen. Love, Jen and Linda

      REPLY
  5. Ashley 1 year ago March 9, 2016

    I love reading God’s Word with you! Thank you! This encouraged my heart today! It was God’s perfect timing and just what I needed.

    REPLY
    • linda Barrick 1 year ago March 9, 2016

      Hi Ashley, Thank you for connecting with us. Our prayer is that The Lord whispers His HOPE and PEACE to your heart through Bible Talk! Love, Linda and Jen

      REPLY
  6. Sarah 1 year ago March 9, 2016

    Jen, please pray for me. My life is hard and I often want to give up. I want to believe that God is good and that He loves me.

    REPLY
    • linda Barrick 1 year ago March 9, 2016

      Dear Sarah, Thank you for connecting with us through Bible Talk.
      Lord Jesus, Please uplift my friend Sarah and encourage her heart today. Please give her the strength to press on because You have an amazing plan for her life. May she trust in You with her whole heart. Amen. Love, Linda and Jen

      REPLY
  7. Miriam 1 year ago March 10, 2016

    Dear Linda and Jen,
    I had read your story quite awhile ago and am aware of Jen, your recovery from your accident. Your great faith is so motivational and uplifting for me as I too struggle with the difficulties of having a brain injury. Please pray for me that I may continue to heal and my faith&trust in the Lord may grow each day. Thank you for your wonderful ministry!!

    REPLY
    • linda Barrick 1 year ago March 10, 2016

      Hi Miriam, Thank you for reaching out and connecting with us through Bible Talk. Lord Jesus, we pray for continued healing for Miriam Lord. Please whisper to her heart that You love her and that You Lord have an amazing plan for her life. Amen.
      Love Linda and Jen

      REPLY
  8. Sheila 1 year ago March 10, 2016

    My struggle is fear. Satan has locked me down with that one as long as I can remember. I fear for my children living in a dangerous evil world, accidents, violence, the changes I see happening in our country (therefore I am glued to presidential election news hoping for a sign of our country healing), etc. Fear is a very effective tactic that ruins your witness and keeps your mouth shut. I started a blog of encouraging books that I told you about (since I reviewed MFJ) trying to encourage myself and others but I don’t know how much longer I will continue since so few seem to be reading it. It was my attempt to “hand out prayer booklets” I guess. Fear is a strong, sometimes paralyzing emotion. I love how fearless Jen is. Amazing young woman.

    REPLY
    • linda Barrick 1 year ago March 10, 2016

      Father God, we pray for Sheila Lord. May she hear You whisper to her heart, “Fear Not”. Lord, we claim Isaiah 41:10 for Sheila, ” Fear Not for I am with you, be not dismayed for I am your God, I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Thank you Lord that we can trust in You! amen.
      Love, Linda and Jen

      REPLY
  9. Tricia Edwards 1 year ago March 11, 2016

    Hello Jen and Linda, I am struggling right now with things that I’ve been fighting for awhile now. I know that” perfect love casteth out all fear”, and I believe that, I do. I just can’t shake the fear of driving. I know I need to. I’m 43 years old, was in 2 bad car wrecks, by age 21, and the sound of the breaking glass, feeling the spinning, I know you all know what I mean, but I can ride fine, but if I get behind the wheel, I’m so afraid I will do something wrong, just a tough too far left or right, and what if my two kids are in the car with me? I dream a lot that I’m driving but when I look there’s no steering wheel, I’m crying out to God. It’s been like for over twenty some years for me. It makes me feel bad as a christian as I feel if I was where I needed to be, I wouldn’t be this afraid. I feel chained by fear of what I don’t know, what I can’t see. I feel like I don’t trust God enough. I don’t how to fix it though. How can I help others if I can’t help myself? Love you, Tricia

    REPLY
    • linda Barrick 1 year ago March 11, 2016

      Lord Jesus, Nothing is to hard for You. Please whisper Your Peace and Hope to Tricia. May she trust You with her whole heart Lord!
      Please comfort her today, calm her heart and may she hear You say ‘Peace, Be still” Amen. Love, Jen and Linda

      REPLY
  10. Tricia Edwards 1 year ago March 11, 2016

    When is the next Bible Talk? Is it on a schedule online here? I LOVE this and I thank you for taking time to talk and pray with people like me. Love you all, Tricia

    REPLY
    • Linda Barrick 1 year ago March 11, 2016

      A new Bible Talk is released every Wednesday in the am ET.
      Please share it with your friends and family on FB and other social media.

      REPLY
  11. Stacy 1 year ago March 11, 2016

    I love bible talk every Wednesday! Thanks for the truth you speak!!

    REPLY
    • linda Barrick 1 year ago March 11, 2016

      Hi Stacy, Thank you for connecting with us on Bible Talk and for sharing an encouraging word! That really blesses us. Our prayer is that lives are impacted around the world through Bible Talk. We know God has an amazing plan and we are so excited to follow Him! Love, Linda and Jen

      REPLY
  12. Heidi 1 year ago March 12, 2016

    Linda, I love your honesty and your heart. Thanks for sharing your struggles. And, oh, how I love Jen’s joy for the Lord. I want more of that, too!

    I’m chained to being a working mom when I want to be home with my children. Yet, I know that my job is where God wants me to be, and I’m content to know that this is where I’ll be spending 8 hours a day for the foreseeable future. I try to be a witness when opportunities arise, and I tell people I’ll pray for them, but I’ve not been truly bold in sharing the gospel. I’m praying today that God will give me that boldness.

    Linda, your dad has spoken at my church a couple of times. I am always so encouraged by him and his teachings. He has the same joy that I see in you and your family. I praise God for you!

    REPLY
    • linda Barrick 1 year ago March 13, 2016

      Hi Heidi, Thank you for sharing and connecting with us through Bible Talk. Lord Jesus, Thank you that we can trust You and that You are so faithful. Please give Heidi Your boldness to share You with her co-workers and everyone You send her way Lord. Bless Heidi and her family as she serves You, Lord. Amen.
      Love, Linda and Jen

      REPLY
      • Heidi Sisto 1 year ago March 25, 2016

        Thank you for your beautiful prayer for me and my family. Happy Easter, Barricks!

        REPLY

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