“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.” ~Paul, in chains for the Gospel, Philippians 1:20, NIV
I can’t help but notice how Paul described his courage in future tense. I can feel in his writing that he felt ashamed and afraid but he chose to “eagerly” expect and hope not to. He doesn’t focus on what he feels but chose to encourage other people despite of his situation. It is a deliberate action on his part. He didn’t just sit there and mutter to God our famous question: “WHY me, Lord??!?”
In the same way, I should also hope and expect never to be ashamed on my decision but to have sufficient courage to stand on what is right. This is never easy. It is always painful and hurts me to the core. But with all conviction, I know this is the right thing to do. I will let my yes be yes and no be no. I am afraid to be misunderstood but I am reminded that I need not be afraid nor defend myself because God is my Banner, He can defend me. I can’t discount the fact that my actions/decisions hurt someone deeply, almost like never being able to forgive me, but I don’t want to turn the situation around. Because if I do, I will lose respect for myself, and to that person, as well.
I am not in chain for the Gospel. Paul was. He chose to exalt Christ even in trials and persecution. I chose to exalt Christ in my decision to let go and let Him be the God of my life. I pray that God will continue to give me strength to face this and focus my hope and trust to Him.