. . . 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.
– Philippians 1:20 (ESV)
I’ve posted on this before, but I truly love this verse.
I love the phrase “eager expectation and hope”. The word behind “eager expectation” (apokaradokia) is only used one other place in the NT (Romans 8:19). It’s a word that surges, one that, according to Vines, gives the picture of someone watching with outstretched head (apo – from, kara – the head, dokia – to look, to watch). It is a “strained expectancy”, an eager longing, and contains the idea of focus – the abstraction from anything else that might take our attentions.
Paul knew hope. Which is why he could speak of it so eloquently while chained to a Roman guard – most likely a thoroughly evangelized Roman guard! My guess is that the coterie of imperial guards who had “Paul duty” were a mixed bag vis-a-vis whether they enjoyed it or not. To some, Paul represented a hope beyond endless service to a pagan regime – contagious and enticing hope! To others he was, no doubt, just another misguided fool, gabbling on about his crucified god.
Paul didn’t care. He had hope, and he eagerly awaited Christ’s honoring of himself within Paul’s body. Whether by Paul’s life or death, well, it hardly mattered which to the old apostle. He strained forward, like a sleek and powerful horse straining at the starting gate in eager expectation. He couldn’t wait!
I hope that you have hope today. As God’s children we are not to live as those who have no hope. Thank God.
And I pray that God will glorify himself in you and me today.