Philippians 1:12-13 (NASB) “Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else”
The question I want you to ask yourself today is, “What circumstances in my life are turning out for the greater progress of the gospel?” So many of us pray for God’s will for our life or for Jesus to use us greatly to further His kingdom, but we become very discouraged when the circumstances in our life don’t line up to what we think that answered prayer should look like.
You may live in a neighborhood that’s not that great, surrounded by neighbors that you feel you have nothing in common with. You may have a job where you’re the only Christian and you feel isolated, maybe even mocked for your faith. You may have a family member who’s constantly challenging and questioning you because of your walk with Jesus. It may feel like God’s abandoned you. The truth is, God is setting up your life, to do work a work in and through your life, greater than you could ever imagine.
When Paul set out on his mission, I’m sure he did not picture his ministry taking place in a Roman prison chained to a guard. He may have pictured it taking place in a town square, preaching to eager listeners, welcomed into homes for a meal and a cozy place to lay his head. And I’m sure those situations happened a lot in Paul’s life and that was very good. But when Paul was thrown into prison, when he was brought before the courts, when he was chained to the praetorian guard, that’s when Paul experienced Christ the greatest.
Because Paul kept preaching the gospel, even from prison, he gave other Christians great boldness to take their faith to the next level. You may not realized it, but other Christians that surround your life see what you’re going through. When they see you being faithful during tough times, it encourages them.
Because Paul was chained to a praetorian guard, he was able to share the gospel with men who he wouldn’t have had a chance to otherwise. Their may be somebody God is putting in your life that He want’s to reach through you. It may seem impossible, but we serve a God who makes all things possible.
Because Paul was brought before the courts, the gospel was made known through out the Roman Empire. You may be in a place where you feel like a sheep thrown to a pack of wolves, but never forget the great Shepherd is with you always. You’re not an isolated Christian, but Christ’s light for a very dark place.
Because of the grace of Jesus Christ, a situation that looked very dire, turned out for the greater glory of God. It’s during these tough times that we not only experience and know God in a greater way, but it’s also where he uses us in a greater way. It’s also where we experience the greatest grace. So here’s my final question for you. What grace is Christ inviting you to participate in today to show His glory in and through your life?