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.
I wonder how our present situation will be used by God to advance the gospel? We don’t believe everything that happens is God’s will. God does not cause us to sin or desire that bad things happen to his people, but He is a God of redemption, a God who can bring good out of bad. God did not send the coronavirus on humanity to make us suffer, but He can take the situation we are in today and use it, somehow, to advance the gospel.
I imagine there were days when Paul wondered why he had to be chained up, held under arrest for months on end. He must have felt anger and worry. He must have lost patience at times, just as we might. By keeping his heart focused on the gospel of Jesus and finding comfort in the presence of the Spirit, Paul was able to believe, maybe against all reason, that what he endured would serve to advance the gospel. He even saw evidence of God’s power to change lives in his place of confinement.
I hope we can maintain this same sort of faith, believing that God will bring some good out of our current struggles. Perhaps more people will find God’s word preached online. Perhaps the world will notice acts of service and sacrifice by those who name Jesus as our Savior. Good might come as we remain hopeful, even joyful, through a time when others give in to fear and anxiety. May God bring redemption to our world in new and mighty ways, and may the good news of Jesus be proclaimed by his faithful people.
Thank you, Jesus, for coming to bring us good news. Help me to hold onto Your promises and to trust in Your power to change lives and to bring healing. Bless Your church with strength to bear witness to Your goodness, especially into the dark places and moments of our world. I love You and trust You, Jesus. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian