Mickey Connolly reminds us that even those things we might perceive as setbacks can be used by God to advance the gospel!
Prior to his conversion, as a Jew, Paul had it all! He had an impeccable pedigree, he possessed a radical commitment to godliness under the Law, and he maintained a missionary zeal. Yet, with all his natural advantages, when he had a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, he learned all was loss (counted as rubbish), in order that he might gain Christ. This life-changing encounter altered everything about Paul
The Philippians serve as a model for us of a joyful partnership in the gospel. A significant aspect of this partnership was their giving to support Paul's ministry and to provide for the needs of the church in Jerusalem. This partnership met practical needs, helped to cultivate a unity in the gospel, and required sacrifice on their part.
Sanctification is progressively being made like Christ. It is a work of grace, but one which the believe cooperates with, unlike salvation which is purely the work of God, faith and repentance being merely our response to that work. Justification is instantaneous and complete; sanctification is progressive and incomplete until we are glorified in heaven. Justification means the end of the unconquerable dominion of sin; sanctification is the gradual growth in the power and desire to obey. Biblically, our greatest enemy is sin, the flesh; it is not the devil and our circumstances, though these can introduce temptations to us. Sanctification is a work of man and requires us to renounce sin (Tit 2:11f), mortify sin (Col 3:5), and cannot be done casually. Thus, we need to recognize that because of the power of sin, even things that are biblically allowable might be for us unhelpful and lead to further temptations. These we need to remove from our lives. This fight also must be specific. Sanctification is also a work of God and requires the Holy Spirit (Phil 2:13). We are dependent upon him to understand and love God's word, to walk in obedience, and thus we need to pray regularly to be filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18).