Tried and tested to be a blessing to others
And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear. Philippians 1:12-14 How do you respond to the circumstances of life? It is your response that will determine who you are and what you believe. It is not the circumstances that will determine who you are and who you trust. There are two ways to look at every circumstance in the life of every believer: How will it affect you or will my response impact the kingdom of God that I am a part of expanding? From our text, it provides an example on how the apostle Paul was always concerned with how his circumstances will affect the spreading of the Gospel. He always thinks that even in circumstances, if he has the right perspective, he could still make an impact for the kingdom of God. When he was unjustly imprisoned, he immediately looked to see how his imprisonment might provide salvation to others especially the jailers. When he was attacked by an angry mob, he used the opportunity to preach the Gospel (see Acts 22:1-21). When Paul’s criminal proceedings took him before King Agrippa, his thoughts were on sharing his faith with the king (see Acts 26:1-32). Even when Paul was shipwrecked on an island, he used that opportunity to share the gospel. No matter what circumstance he was in, he believes that God could use it so he could tell others of God’s good news of salvation. Often, some Christians respond differently when they found themselves with problems that they did not anticipate will happen to them. The usual response is how to get out of the situation. When you face a crisis, you can become angry or fearful for your own well-being. There is nothing wrong with this but a healthy outlook for a child of God is to see that God has a purpose why you are going through such trials. He intends to accomplish something in your life through your circumstances. “But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold” (Job 23:10). If you just focus on yourself and develop self-pity you will miss so much of what God could do through your experiences. But if you open yourself to God’s leading and focus on Him, He will strengthen you so you could bless others. Ask God to make you aware of how He could use your present circumstances to bless others. Perhaps someone around you needs to see the difference Christ’s presence makes in your life. Are you willing for God to use your circumstances to demonstrate His saving power to those around you? “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us” (2 Corinthians 2:4).