June 5, 2007
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.
Problems, pressures, and pain really can produce possibilities and opportunities in our lives. While we often can’t see it at the time, God is always creatively and constructively at work in the life of the believer.
For example, Paul wrote two-thirds of the New Testament in a jail cell! Paul was a proactive missionary…one who traveled throughout the ancient world proclaiming the Good News. Yet God allowed him to go to prison.
And there in prison, the great apostle, the great missionary, heard from God and recorded these great passages of Scripture that describe the Christian life and the Christian faith. It was because of his prison experience that Paul said, “What has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.” Paul was able to see the big picture beyond the pain of his circumstances. He was able to look and see the possibilities of the future.
God’s light shines so brightly in the darkness! And I dare say, if you surveyed your circle of friends, most of them would say the most defining moments in their lives would be times of adversity, times of trouble, and tests of character.
Because it’s during these times that you experience the presence of God and the reality of His love!
Today, I challenge you to start thinking about your troubles in a new light. Instead of seeing them as negatives, thank God that He’s working in your life!
And remember Paul’s promise in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18: “For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
god is always creatively and constructively at work in the life of the believer.