Philippians 1:12-14 (NIV)
12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[a] that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard[b] and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.
God gives us life, a life that includes good things, challenges, traumas and death. Our culture often sends the message that things should be good in life and if they’re not then there is something wrong with you. It can then cause us to be embarrassed or want to hide the “bad” things ultimately leaving us isolated and truly burdened by life alone. We need to free ourselves from that lie. The life that God gives allows us to learn and grow through all things. Yes there are parts of life that hurt or can be a real downer, yet these parts of life are very often the times when we learn many things you can’t get from good times only. This makes us able to face and manage more things. Some of the strongest and richest character people I have met have lived through hard times.
Now it is not a requirement to have hard times, but to avoid the hard parts of life is to have a life half lived. In fact the stories of the people in the Bible are loaded with life’s troubles yet through those struggles they grow and give us wisdom to cope. Paul is taking the circumstances he finds himself in and living a full life through them. Paul is inspired as well because he sees the purpose of living a full life for the amazingly loving gift from Christ’s sacrifice for us, that even when we die there is salvation and eternal life to live. Learn from all things. Find the opportunities to share the great news of Christ in all of life. Life is not a burden it’s an opportunity with many lessons and it has great hope with Christ.
Praise honor and glory to the one and only true Lord Jesus Christ. Forgive us for becoming entangled in the lies and fears that stop us from living the full lives you give us. May we grow through our troubles and trials as well as learn with each other no matter the situation. You give us life with every possible perspective to gain from as well as your example of living through all you faced and faced on our behalf. Thank you Lord for such an opportunity and please help us find the strength, with you, to forge ahead no matter what.
By: Brian Henderson