“Now, concerning myself, I want you to know, my brothers, that what has happened to me has, in effect, turned out to the advantage of the Gospel. For, first of all, my imprisonment means a personal witness for Christ before the palace guards not to mention others who come and go. Then, it means that most of our brothers, somehow taking fresh heart in the Lord from the very fact that I am a prisoner for Christ’s sake, have shown far more courage in boldly proclaiming the Word of God.”  (Philippians 1:12-14, Phillips)

Do you regard the various inconveniences, trials, and difficulties you encounter as beneficial for the advancement of the Gospel we hold dear?  Or,  do you use each as an occasion for self-pity and complaint?

God never gives us more than we are able to carry with His help; nor does God put us into situations that are beyond His grace.  When we embrace the same attitude in each trial that was in our brother Paul, we will become as Paul was: A personal witness for Christ, and an encouragement to others to be likewise.

Most of us like the idea of being God’s voice in the “palace,” preferring our designation to be “the adviser,” not “the prisoner.”  Our attraction to such ideas is understandable, reasonable, and so human; but, so unlike God!  If, in the Incarnation, God chose to enter human history as a working-class infant in a race of marginalized people, we should not be surprised when God sends us into situations through the back door or through the “service entrance.”  – Luther

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