12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[a] that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard[b] and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 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.
15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.[c] 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith
💡If you had the power to change your circumstances, would you? Since no one has a life without problems, most of us would immediately say yes.
💡However, the reality is that we must learn to live with some of our difficult circumstances because only God has the power to alter them, and in His providence, He has allowed them to remain.
💡Take the apostle Paul, for example. He had a desire to go to Rome and preach the Gospel but did not anticipate the route God would use to bring him there.
📍It began with false accusations in Jerusalem,
📍An appeal to Caesar,
📍A rough sea voyage, and
📍A shipwreck and
📍Eventually included time spent in a Roman prison.
💡This was evidently not what Paul had envisioned, but as he sat chained in a Roman prison, he wrote the following words to the Church in Philippi:
My circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the Gospel (Phil. 1:12).
💡 The very circumstance that may have seemed like an unfair misfortune became the avenue for fruitful service for Paul.
💡What looks like a shipwreck or detour in our plans could actually be God’s ordained path for our lives. It may include financial challenges, health issues, relational conflicts, or any number of other hardships, but there is one certainty to which we can cling: Jesus Christ is our life, and He never changes.
💡 Conditions around us will certainly fluctuate, but if we belong to Christ, He will use every situation to accomplish His will in and through us. Even when we face matters of life and death, we can share Paul’s desire, that Christ would be exalted in us, whether through life or death.
💡The circumstances in the world, in general and in Nigeria in particular, are degenerating every day. It is only our anchoring in Jesus Christ that can keep us safe. Make Jesus your anchor today and allow God to finish His work on you.
💡As Christians, we must allow His will to be fulfilled in our lives, no matter the circumstances.
💡 May the peace of God reign in our lives as we pass difficult circumstances in our earthly journey. Amen!