The Lord has been speaking to me about my attitude lately. How do I respond to setbacks, inconveniences, disappointments. I can easily revert to behaving like a two year old throwing a temper tantrum when I don’t get my way. (At least I’m learning to keep them private. Progress)
But I am humbled when I read Paul’s writings, considering the injustice he received for the sake of Christ. Beaten. Falsely imprisoned. Left for dead. Rejected by his friends. Yet he wrote, “This actually helped advance the kingdom of God. Everyone knows I am in Chains for Christ.”
What if this became our testimony? What if every injustice suffered, every disappointment, every heartache, every time something didn’t go our way, was used it to advance the gospel? What if it were all used to allow those around us to see Jesus in us?
Now please understand me. I am not saying we should accept the bad things that happen to us without warring against them in the heavenlies. I am not suggesting God is sending the rotten stuff to teach us or to advance the kingdom. The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy and I will not accept his foolishness as normal.
But like Joseph said, “what the enemy meant for evil, God can turn it around for good.” But we have to co-labor with Christ to see the fruition of that promise. We must learn to rejoice whether we are in the pit or the palace, imprisoned or free. We can’t choose what will happen to us but we can choose how we respond. Respond well, my friend. Respond well.
“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually 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. 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.”
Philippians 1:12-14 NIV