Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household. 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
Philippians 4:21-23 ESV
When life gives you sour lemons, what will you do? Some would welcome them; some would complain about them; some would choose to take the lemon and squirt the juice on others; some would choose to take the sour lemons and turn them into a sweet and refreshing lemonade. How did Paul face the lemons, the adversities, he encountered in his life? What did he turn his lemons into?
He turned his lemons into a blessing to those around him. “Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household.” (v20-21) Paul concluded his letter to the Philippians with greetings from him and the brothers who were with him, including those of Caesar’s household. It is very likely these were the people Paul brought to Christ during the time when he was in prison. Wherever Paul was, he put on the shoes of the gospel of peace! He seized the opportunities to share the gospel with everyone whom he came in contact with, and they became brothers and saints in Christ! He was a blessing to the people around him even when he was facing great adversities himself. Yes! The best blessing we can give to someone is to bring them the salvation of Jesus Christ! How did Paul do that? This reminds me of Joseph, who was also in prison. “But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.” (Genesis 39:20-21) The Lord was with Joseph, and He was also with Paul. Paul did not lose his zealous heart for the work of Christ, and he pressed on to finish what he was called to do. Along with that, I think how he lived his daily life and keeping his charismatic and christ-like character also drew people’s attention to him and what he preached.
When life gives us lemons, may we learn from the example of Paul and not to lose heart. Don’t let them take away our passion, our joy, and peace. How the Lord was with Joseph and Paul, He is also with us. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” (v23) Paul’s letters usually start and end with the blessing of “God’s grace be with you”. That is not to fill up space in the book, but a good reminder for us as we go through different chapters in life. It’s a blessing that every chapter we have in the Lord begins and ends with the grace from the Lord, for He never leaves us. No matter what our day is like, take each day as an opportunity to share the love of Christ to those around us. Live our days with the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in us, and bare fruits for the Lord. The lemons may be sour, but the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is lovely, sweet and aromatic. So when life gives you lemons, keep calm, and keep shine on. His grace is enough.
Dear Lord, while every day may not be a good day, each day is a gift from you. And you are with me each and every day, whether it is good or bad. Some times life may give me lemons, but help me not to lose heart because Your Spirit lives in me. Help me to bare the fruit of the Spirit and turn my lemons into blessing. Give me the strength to share your good news and love with those around me. It is truly the best blessing we can bring to someone!