Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear …. For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:12-14, 19-21
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
Trusting God for whatever happens as he fulfills his Divine purposes in your life can sound truly formidable. Today’s Scripture shows us what it looked like in the Apostle Paul’s life and from his example we can gain a lot of insight for how we too can trust God in all circumstances. Paul says it is the “cause of Christ” that has resulted in his imprisonment. Paul has surrendered his life to God so that his ultimate aim is to exist for God’s honor and glory by having it be that God is freely able to utilize his life fully for his Divine purposes. The “cause of Christ” is the essence of God’s Divine purposes and this cause is the heartbeat of the Paul’s life.
Paul wants the brethren to know that his circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel. There are two avenues of progress that are mentioned. First, that his captors are being impacted by the gospel, and second, that the brethren have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear because they are trusting the Lord more because of what is happening through Paul’s imprisonment. Paul is enthusiastically making it known that what he has been through was worth it. He has seen the good that has come from the trial of imprisonment. But what were his thoughts when he was first imprisoned? It is likely that he was filled with trust, expectation, and anticipation for what God would do.
God used Paul’s trial of imprisonment for the progress of the gospel, but his imprisonment continued and what he would face going forward is not yet known to him. Paul goes on to say in our passage that he has the expectation of deliverance from imprisonment. He will count on the prayers of the brethren and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ as faces the future. While Paul has the expectation of deliverance, his trust in and surrender to God gives him an even higher expectation: “that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, it really does all come down to trust and surrender. I join Paul in surrendering my life to you so that my ultimate aim is to exist for your honor and glory. Lord, may it be that you are freely able to utilize my life fully for your Divine purposes. Help me stay in the place of trusting you before trials come, when they come, and throughout them. May I always remember that whatever I go through for the cause of Christ is worth it. May I live in the reality that “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Amen!
Posted on Wed, May 4, 2016
by Alan Porter