22 Jun Joy in the Midst of Suffering
Today, we’re looking at Philippians 1:12-18 where Paul launches into why he is in prison in Rome. Do you know that Paul wrote most of the New Testament? And much of what he wrote was written while he was in prison? Think about that. Y’all…this is suffering. This is prison. Paul’s suffering was not outside the will of God. In fact, God used it in a powerful and profound way to spread the gospel. Paul was, by far, the greatest missionary of all time.
Another thing that Paul says in this scripture that is so interesting and profound is that the whole prison guard that was assigned to him to keep guard and watch over him knew that he was in prison because of Christ. Imagine the testimony, the witness he was able to be while he was there in prison. Imagine how many guards were saved!
Paul goes on to say his suffering in prison served yet another purpose: The believers who knew that he was in prison because of Christ experienced their faith being strengthened. The joy in the midst of his suffering made them bolder and they were courageous to continue fearlessly proclaiming the gospel.
So how about you? What’s going on in your life? What has already gone on in your life? What kind of struggles and hardships and suffering have you been through? God wants to use those. In fact, that may be the place where God wants to work most profoundly in your life.
Will you let him?
I love y’all!
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Philippians 1:12-18 (NLT)
12 And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. 13 For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. 14 And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear.
15 It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. 16 They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News. 17 Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. 18 But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice.