My Chains, Your Benefit
Verse 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.
We learned yesterday that Paul was imprisoned by God’s plan. One of the reasons for that plan was to encourage us in our efforts for the kingdom.
Struggles are never fun to go through but they are often the source of our greatest growth. It is while going through these trials that we lean closer into God and His care. We often pray our most heart wrenching prayers when we are in the midst of life’s storms. And if we are obedient through the trial, we will find that God is strengthening us and teaching us things that we would miss learning if life was all peaches and cream.
During the growing portion of our trials we also learn that our confidence comes from God as He upholds us with His mighty right hand. It is this confidence that Paul had gained in his imprisonment that enabled him to encourage his friends to take up the cross of the mission.
As Christian friends this in one way we can be a blessing to one another. Our trials aren’t just to benefit us. The lessons we learn during the trials of life give us the knowledge and experience of God’s gracious care that we can pass on to other believers to encourage them through their trials as well. It is the cycle of encouragement, as there is always someone that is going through something and therefore always someone to come up aside and encourage.
It is important that the Philippians were encouraged to be bold in the work they had been called to. It is just as important for us to be encouraged as it is to encourage others. We need to be reminded to be bold and courageous in sharing the Gospel. Maybe, in fact, we need to be reminded that we need to be sharing the Gospel. It can be a scary thing to share the Gospel and yet we need to be bold and confident in doing what we have been called to do. The fact is, if we love God and are thankful for Jesus coming and dying for us, we should be eager to tell of Him and His mighty works in our lives.
Making It Personal
Do you feel bold and confident in sharing the Gospel? Has anyone ever encouraged you to be bold in your faith? Have you encouraged others to be bold in their faith?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever told anyone about Jesus? Has any of your Christian friends encouraged you so that you felt strong enough to share about Jesus? How can you encourage a friend to share about Jesus?
Father, thank You for Paul’s example of weathering the storms of life so we can be bold enough to share the Good News of Jesus. Help us learn to encourage each other to share You boldly. In Jesus’ name, amen.