On Wednesday evenings, I have been leading a group through Paul’s letter to the Philippians. This is one of his seven letters written from prison; most likely the prison or house arrest in Rome. He certainly did not complain about his circumstances in any of these letters.
“I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ” (Philippians 1:12–13).
Instead of complaining, Paul is absolutely certain that a prison chains “advance the gospel” and then gives proof of his confidence. The gospel “has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.” You can be sure that Paul used every opportunity to proclaim the gospel to guards, prison workers, and other prisoners. It is not hard to imagine conversations that flowed from his fervent, Spirit-filled, powerful and passionate presentation of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It probably even got to the ears of Nero.
No wonder Paul could say that his “imprisonment is for Christ.” There is a lot of complaining during these days of COVID-19. The question I have for all of us is; what are you doing to “advance the gospel”? If you are not thinking like that, you should! God never wants us to waste difficult circumstances, but find out how they can be used to further His work.
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