When Paul wrote these words, he was in chains. He had been tortured and imprisoned in Rome for the cause of Christ. He said here that for him, to live IS Christ. He was fully consumed by Christ in his life. Paul believes that if he dies, then he gains. He gains eternal life with Christ. Either way, he is with Christ. If we take Paul’s perspective, we can see that if we live for Christ, we die in Christ and that, no matter what happens, we win either way.
And we pray:
Father, Let me live by Paul’s example. Let me live for Christ. Let Christ BE life for me. And when I die, I will gain so much more. I will see Him face to face. Amen.