“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ” (Philippians 1:12-13).
Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe that God has caused this to happen to you. Or to me. To any of us. I don’t believe He placed Paul under arrest, either.
But oh, what God can do with the worst of circumstances will astound, every time.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
What has happened to us, what was meant for harm, has actually served to advance the gospel.
Let that sink in for a minute.
How huge is that?
You play a part in the spreading of the Gospel, simply by enduring. Your pain, not one moment of it is wasted. Every morsel you suffer while pointing the way to Christ is making it clear to everyone around you that this great God we serve is something to take note of.
He’s someone to cling to and laud.
Finding blessings in the midst of all this ugly . . . that brings an honor and a shimmer to our Lord in the eyes of the world that just couldn’t get there any other way.
You do that.
Each time you pass on grace to someone who just doesn’t get it. Each time to stand back up after being knocked down. Each time you smile through your tears, offer a hug to someone hurting much less than you are, or praise His holy name for all to hear–each and every time, you bring Him glory. You advance the good news.
Fight on, brothers and sisters. We are a vital part of this battle, even chained as we are to these weak and worn earthly vessels. We still shine.
Prayer: Father in Heaven, that You would still use us, need us, want us . . . Wow. Thank you for using our imprisonment to spread the news of Jesus. May You always be glorified. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
About the author:
Shelly Hendricks is a wife and mother of 2 amazing kids. She was a teacher and a librarian in another life. She also suffers from Intracranial Hypertension, Interstitial Cystitis, and Essential Tremor. She had brain surgery in 2012, followed by a revision in 2014, and now considers herself to be a ‘bionic woman’ who is learning to walk again. Disability has been hard to deal with, but she depends on God for all strength and hopes to encourage others on this journey, through her blog at http://reneweddaily.com
Have you ever witnessed how your pain may have influenced someone or made a positive difference in someone’s life?
This is the song “Back’s Against the Wall” by Judah & the Lion. Shelly suggested it and I thought the lyrics rang true to the feeling that so many of us have. Yet they sing of standing strong and holding onto hope. Hoping it blesses you. -Lisa