“Everything that has happened to me here has helped spread the Good News. For everyone here including the 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
Ever wonder why you’re in prison? Not an actual four walls and sliding bars, prison, but a hardship, pain or even torment. God uses the good and the bad times in our life to bring about His glory. To use you to be a light to this world, so you can tell the Good News of Christ.
Here’s Paul sitting in prison. Not because of a crime he committed but because some Jews in Jerusalem didn’t like him preaching about Christ and had him arrested. Instead of standing trial there, Paul appealed to Ceasar in Rome to hear his case (like a person in Small Town, USA appealing to the Supreme Court). Roman soldiers escorted Paul to Rome, then kept him in prison until his trial. Because He hadn’t broken any civil laws, his case wasn’t given high priority. It took six years from the time of his arrest before Paul was released from jail in Rome. Six years!! Can you imagine??
Paul could’ve developed a sour attitude, a why-is-this-happening-to-me chip on his shoulder. Instead, he continued to encourage and challenge believers through the letters he sent to churches (read Ephesians, Galatians, and Philippians) and those around him. Paul saw this as an opportunity to spread the gospel to places he never would have gone and to people he never would have had access to, including the Roman Emperor Ceasar himself!
At the time he wrote Philippians, Paul had been a prisoner for about three years. The soldiers had grown to respect and be influenced by him. Enough that Paul was granted special allowances. They saw his zeal for God and how he loved and was loved by others.
Are you imprisoned today? Imprisoned in a violent school, an abusive family, with a chronic sickness, etc? Wondering why God has you where you are?
It’s simple…He wants to use you! Right now. Right where you are!
Only you can minister to those around you. And when the world sees you loving and praising God despite what’s happening in your physical world, that’s when you truly shine your light for Him.
Be encouraged! God is with you and working through you to be that light to your friends, family, boss, classmates.
Now, God’s probably not be calling you to preach to the president of the United States, but He does want you to effect those around you.
You’re the only one who can.
Now, answer this question, “Because of my imprisonment…”