Have you ever read something and thought to yourself, “That is an absolute gamechanger?”
That happened to me while I was reading Philippians – a little four-chapter book in the New Testament. Philippians 1:12 says this:
“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.” – Philippians 1:12
The Apostle Paul wrote this book and the first thing we need to ask ourselves is, “What has happened to him?”
We know from other places in the Bible that Paul has been betrayed by people he loves, run out of town on multiple occasions, stoned, whipped, and shipwrecked, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Paul as writing this letter while he was under house arrest. Scholars say he was actually chained to a guard. And he says that what has happened to him as actually served to advance the gospel.
What if we could adopt this mindset about everything that happens to us?
Paul was talking about jail, but this could go both ways.
- How can your location in your neighborhood serve to advance the gospel?
- How can the raise you just got serve to advance the gospel?
- How can the new car you just bought serve to advance the gospel?
- How can this pandemic serve to advance the gospel?
- How can this winter weather catastrophe serve to advance the gospel?
What if we determined right now, in our hearts, that we would let the Lord use all of our circumstances to advance the gospel?
Adversity will come to you sooner or later. Unfortunately, you’re not given a choice about most of the things that happen to you. I hate to break this to you, but you’re in one of three situations: Either you’re in a trial right now, or you’re just coming out of a trial, or you’re about to enter a trial and just don’t know it yet. But opportunity knocks whenever you experience a tragedy or trial. Thus, you must train yourself to see every tragedy as a divine opportunity to advance the gospel.
You may not like your job, your school, your neighborhood, or your marriage, but God has you “chained up” to some people who need Christ. Have you ever stopped to ponder the fact that God placed you in your school so that you might share Christ? Have you realized that God gave you a particular job in order for you to share Christ with your boss and coworkers? Are you cognizant of the fact that God directed you to buy a house in a particular neighborhood with neighbors who need to hear about His Son? There are no mistakes or coincidences. God has a plan and He is advancing His kingdom through you.