Philippians 1:12-14 — 12 And I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. 13 For everyone here, including all the soldiers in the palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. 14 And because of my imprisonment, many of the Christians here have gained confidence and become more bold in telling others about Christ (NIV).
As I studied Philippians 1, I marveled at Paul’s attitude as he wrote from prison. He managed to keep his circumstance in perspective and focus on the big picture despite being in chains. What an awesome testimony! Maybe today you are facing a trial of some kind, and you’ve recently asked, “Why me?” If you are in a personal prison, I pray your perspective changes. Be challenged by Paul’s words.
First of all, Paul recognized his imprisonment was an opportunity to spread the Good News. He understood that his response to incarceration would serve as a testimony to the lost prisoners and even the Roman soldiers. They all knew he was in prison for the cause of Christ, and Paul’s reaction would either draw the lost to Him or push them away. He didn’t whine and groan about being in jail; he took advantage of the opportunity.
So many Christians ruin their witness when faced with difficulty because they respond in a worldly manner. Nothing pushes the lost further from salvation than a believer who acts and reacts just like them.
Paul also viewed his imprisonment as a chance to encourage the believers who were in jail. God will bring fellow Christians across your path who need a confidence boost. Don’t be so consumed by your personal crisis that you miss out on an opportunity to help set someone free from his.
Revelation 12:11 — And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death (NKJV).
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