“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the Gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.”
Do you want it to be over? You might be saying or thinking that about a situation right now. Maybe your circumstances seem tough or unfair. But maybe through all of this, God is trying to teach you something. Maybe He’s trying to use you through this experience.
In this passage, the apostle Paul was writing to the church in Philippi. As he writes this, keep in mind, he’s in a Roman prison. Yet, Paul didn’t complain or grumble. He wasn’t wishing for the end in sight. Instead, he allowed God to use his circumstance to reach other people for Jesus.
Can you imagine the guards around Paul and what they thought? How is this guy doing this? His testimony, his witness, his example, his character, all pointed to Jesus.
Let’s be honest. That’s hard. And I don’t know about you, but when I go through something difficult, I just can’t wait for it to be over. Listen, it’s not natural to be filled with joy in the midst of difficult, even uncertain times. It’s not normal to have a sense of purpose when it seems everything is going wrong. But if I look back at some of the tough situations I’ve gone through, it’s been in those difficult circumstances when I’ve learned and grown the most.
This is such an incredible passage and I hope it encourages you. God can use you right where you are, even in your tough circumstance. It’s not easy. But even in the midst of this mess, God may have a message for you.
Now, let me ask you, how can you use your difficult circumstance or situation right now to point others to Jesus? Who can you reach out to?
Our hope–our JOY is not in situations or circumstances–it’s found only in Jesus!
Prayer: (adapted from Psalm 18)
We love you, Lord; You are our strength. The Lord is our rock, our fortress, and our Savior; It’s in YOU God we find protection. Thank You for being our shield – the power that saves us – and a place of safety. Thank You that we can call on You – for You are worthy to be praised. Thank You that when we are troubled, when we are distressed, we can cry out to You for help – and You will be there. Help us right where we are – in whatever circumstance we may face. Use us right where we are to reach more people to know You. We thank You and praise You for all of what You are doing in Jesus’ might name! Amen.
We pray this encourages you today. May God bless you and strengthen you, and please know, we are praying for you!