To Advance the Gospel

What do you think about the circumstances of your life?  What do you think about the reason for the circumstances of your life?  Why does God have you in these specific circumstances?

The Apostle Paul sets a powerful, Christ-exalting example in answer to these questions when he says, “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the Gospel…” (Phil. 1:12).  Paul understood his circumstances singularly in terms of the work God was doing through him to advance the Gospel.  Thus even though he was in prison as he wrote to the Philippians, he found great joy in Christ, and great confidence that God was working through his difficult circumstances to advance the Gospel.

We find this exact same mindset in the early church when, as intense persecution was pushing believers out of Jerusalem, “…those who were scattered went about preaching the word.”  (Acts 8:4)  God in His sovereign wisdom was scattering His people, like a farmer scatters seed, so the Gospel would be planted in areas beyond Jerusalem.

Beloved,  if you belong to God through faith in Christ, He has sovereignly put you in your specific circumstances so the Gospel would advance in you, and through you!  What great hope, meaning, and perspective this should give our lives.  What great privileges and responsibilities we have been given!  Whether you are single, married, with children, without children, at work, at home, at school, at wherever; whether in ease or in pain – God has scattered you to be a sower of the Gospel with the people you have contact with.  And He wills for you to trust Him and depend on His help through prayer, that you might bear much fruit for His glory (see John 15:1-8).  May the Lord strengthen all of us for faithfulness in this calling!

Because He lives, and is returning,