The Way Up is Down – Philippians 2:1-4
The Philippians’ biggest battle was not with their external circumstances but with those internal attitudes that destroy unity. Paul had demonstrated his own refusal to let external circumstances control his attitudes (1:12–18).
The “therefore” of 2:1 points back to the command in 1:27 for us to “conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Here in chapter two we find out how to fulfill that command. An attitude of submissiveness is required to experience joy. Our pattern for a submissive mind is Christ Jesus who exemplified selflessness, service, sacrifice and glorification. Jesus Christ demonstrates that the way up is down.
J. I. Packer, in his book Hot Tub Religion writes: [Today if you are] enmeshed amid the four black D’s— disappointment, desolation, depression, desperation— or bogged down in any one to the four black F’s— frustration, failure, fear, fury— I wish to say [this to you].
Christians are not victims and prisoners of either the past or the present. The powers of forgiveness and new creation are at work in your life. Before you lie a sure and certain hope of deliverance, transformation, and glory. Joy will some day be yours in fullest measure, and you should not give way to the black feeling that life will never be better for you than it is now.