9/19 Philippians 1:12

12 I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.

Paul was writing from a house arrest in Rome while chained to a Roman soldier. The soldiers would take shifts watching him. Meanwhile, people came to visit Paul and he would share the gospel with his guests. The whole Imperial Guard came to know that Paul was imprisoned because he believed Jesus was the Messiah who had come to save the world.

There was another reason Paul's imprisonment was advancing the gospel in Rome. The brothers in Rome became bolder in sharing the gospel (Philippians 1:14). Paul set the example of willingness to be incarcerated for proclaiming the truth, which encouraged others to do the same. Paul's enemies were preaching about Jesus to try to get Paul in trouble. Paul didn't care, as long as the name of Jesus was proclaimed (Philippians 1:17-18).

Paul had learned to look for God at work through every condition of life. He knew God was sovereign over all things. Instead of complaining and being discouraged, he saw opportunities that he would not otherwise have. He saw the effects on others' lives. He also encouraged others to not feel sorry for him, but to see the good fruit from what seemed to be a bad situation.

Remember: If you are walking with the Lord, the next time life seems to throw you a curve, look for God at work through it to do something that would not otherwise be accomplished. When we see God at work, our attitude changes and we are encouraged.