The Worst Thing Ever
Have you ever had something happen to you that was so bad that you qualified it as the worst thing that had ever happened to you? Think back to those days. Looking back on them, what good things or even great things did God do as a result of that terrible thing?
Our Passage Today:
Today, we are studying in the Book of Philippians. It is actually a letter written by Paul to the new Christian church in the Greek city of Philippi. At the time, Paul was in prison because of his preaching about Christ. He and some others had travelled there and preached earlier. Many people became Christians because of the preaching. Paul helped them set up a church there. This letter was to encourage them and help them grow in their relationship with Christ.
One other note: Greece was not a country with a Hebrew background. This church was made up of mostly people who came from a pagan background based in Greek mythology. They worshiped many, many false mythical gods. Christianity was a completely different way of life for the Philippians and unlike us, they did not have easy access to God’s Word, so letters like this were invaluable to them.
Philippians 1:12-14 NIV
“Now, I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the Word of God more courageously and fearlessly.”
Paul was a dynamic preacher and leader – gifted by God – he had a huge influence in this new church because he had been the one who had introduced these people to Christ, to begin with.
A Leader Out of Commission?
When Paul was imprisoned it would be very easy for the new Christians to become discouraged and even fall back to their old ways of thinking. However, that is not what happened – not at all.
Let’s look at Verse 12:
“Now, I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.”
So you would think that with Paul unable to be free to preach and share the good news of Jesus Christ, that his work would stop. If it had been his work it probably would have. But, this was God’s work and God continued it even when Paul was physically stopped. As a matter of fact, it grew even more than it had been growing!
FYI: The word “gospel” is the good news of Jesus Christ, which is the message of His saving work on the cross and new life in Him.
Now Verse 13:
“As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.”
Right Place, Right Time
Because Paul was imprisoned everyone in the place he was being held was exposed to his message/purpose. He had access to people that he would not have been able to get to if he was not incarcerated there.
The ESV (English Standard Version) says, “…the whole imperial guard…” instead of “…the whole palace guard…”. That sounds like a lot of people to me. How about you?? And, I am guessing these people went home and told their families what they had heard, too.
Our God is so amazing!!
“Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the Word of God more courageously and fearlessly.”
Instead of creating fear in the “brothers in the Lord”, Paul’s imprisonment actually made them bolder about their faith. Actually, what made them bolder was the Holy Spirit of God at work in their hearts. God used these “brothers in the Lord” to continue to advance the gospel even when the preacher they had been led by was out of the picture.
It Changed the World
It is so incredible that the Lord used this amazing time of excitement and persecution to change the world. Because of what happened in the first few years after Jesus Christ died on the cross, rose from the dead, and then ascended into heaven, we have the Word of God as we know it.
All these New Testament books/letters are a result of Paul, for one reason or another, not being able to get to these new churches that he wanted to encourage, correct and lead:
- 1 & 2 Corinthians
- 1 & 2 Thessalonians
- 1 & 2 Timothy
Paul’s ministry begins in the Book of Acts, but it is not a letter that he wrote to one of the churches. I encourage you to check it out!
Talk to Me!
I would love to hear about “worst things” in your life and how God did good to great things as a result. Write in the comment section and I will get in touch. Comments only go public if I post them so your story is safe with me!
Thank You, Lord, for showing us Your beauty and Your power in Your Word today. Lord, I ask You to intervene in our hearts and lives for Your glory. Help us to make ourselves available and ready to answer when You call. Please help us not to be gripped with fear but gripped with a passion for You and holy love for the people in our lives. Help us live our lives out loving You and help us bring You glory, make You famous, every day. In Jesus beautiful, mighty name, I pray. Amen!
Go Deeper Today: