“Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.” (Philippians 1:12)
From his prison cell, Paul wrote that statement in his letter to the church in Phillipi. Those who read his letter were likely thinking, “How could anything positive come from being in prison? How could the gospel possibly be advanced from there?”
Yet his situation gave Paul the opportunity to preach the gospel to the palace guards who otherwise would never have heard it. So Paul took full advantage of every circumstance to further the cause for Christ. Paul was always pressing on towards the goal.
Even the darkest clouds can have a silver lining. Paul didn’t allow himself to sulk or become depressed when incredible hardship found him. Rather, he tried to turn what seemed insurmountable loss into a win, a victory for Christ. He was always trying to set a good example for the newbie Christians he was mentoring.
Paul knew that his reaction in any given situation, regardless of how dismal or disheartening, would lead to the chance to bring more glory to the God he loved. So Paul thrived on having a positive outlook, despite his dreadful circumstances.
At times, we may feel we are being imprisoned by our own bodies, especially if we feel we have become slaves to pain. We see no silver lining in the pain. God loves the fragile, imperfect people we are. Yet He hopes to see us grow as disciples in strength, knowledge, and faith.
We are still under construction, Christian works in progress. And we can take heart. We can forge ahead, like Paul, and finish strong, because we can believe in confidence, (Philippians 1:6)
“. . . that He who began a good work in you will carry it onto completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Prayer: Dear Father, we know that You will always finish what you start. Help us to be works in progress for You and search for the silver lining. Help us to be willing vessels, ready to be molded by Your loving hands.
About the author:
Lanette Kissel is a freelance writer of Inspirational poetry, articles, and devotions. She lives in southern Indiana with her adopted Yorkie-Poo, Benjy, and enjoys singing in her church choir. Her work has appeared in Mature Living Magazine, The War Cry, Purpose, and others.
Sometimes we find ourselves stuck in that “prisoner in our own body” mentality. How can we turn our daily trials and challenges into little victories for Him?
If you are wondering where your silver lining is, this song may bring you some comfort today, “Life is Hard (But God is Good)” by Pam Thum. A “wow” song.