“I want you to know that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.” Philippians 1:12
What challenge are you facing that has your heart crippled with fear? Is it a child custody battle? A failing marriage? A disrespectful teenager?
In the book of Philippians, Paul is writing a letter to the church in Philippi while he is sitting in prison. Paul was definitely facing a challenge-Imprisonment! You may not be sitting in a literal prison cell, but your trial has you in a bondage much like Paul’s situation. Let me ask you, “What is your imprisonment for Christ?”
Are you taking the situation that you are in and advancing the gospel through it? I absolutely love Paul’s perspective in Phil. 1:12-30. He constantly mentions Christ and the gospel. Even in the midst of his suffering he is constantly going back to the Lord. In the ESV translation I underlined Christ, God, faith, and the gospel eighteen times in just these verses. This was such a much needed reminder to me that in all circumstances I need to put my focus back on Christ.
I find it interesting that Paul did not ask to get out of prison, but he asked for the gospel to be furthered while he was in prison. What challenge are you facing right now that you can let God work through you? What’s your “prison” right now? Maybe you are going through a horrendous court battle to gain custody of your child? Even through that suffering God can be glorified! During this “imprisonment” you may encounter people that you would have otherwise not encountered…be faithful where you are!
We are promised that our God Who began a good work in us will finish what He started (Phil.1:6). We see that God’s character is to finish whatever He starts. Will you make a commitment to our Lord to finish whatever He gives you to do for Him? It may not be comfortable. Paul was not comfortable in prison, but so many people came to know Christ because of the pain Paul went through.
I love the wording of Phil. 1:29 in the Message Version. “The suffering is as much a gift as the trusting.” Often, during our moments of suffering, that is when we turn to God. He is generous to allow us to go through these things because we can only be filled with what we need by going to Him.
When we spend time with God we learn so much about His character and when we learn about His character we know that we can trust Him. No matter what challenge we are facing at that moment. Focus on how much the Creator loves you and how much He has for you and destroy every thought that is not lined up with the knowledge of our Good Father. (2 Cor. 10:3-5)
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Cor. 10:3-5
We Want To Hear From You:
What situations have you encountered or are currently going through that you can identify as your “prison”? How can this shift in perspective help in your specific situation? What tools did you find helpful in this blog and how will you apply them going forward?
Be sure to read our devotional on YouVersion: 40&7: A Guide To Peace During A Custody Battle
For more resources to assist you or others you know going through a custody battle click here.
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