When We’re Chained to Our Circumstances

by Jan 24, 2020Article, Prayer Newsletter

When We’re Chained to Our Circumstances

Because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear.

Paul wrote his letter to the Philippian church while imprisoned in Rome. Paul writes that his “imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard.” The praetorian guard was a special group of imperial guards, different from the army or Roman police. There were about 9,000 praetorian guards stationed in Rome during the time Paul was in prison, and their job was to literally be chained to the prisoner twenty-four hours a day to prevent escape or any problem.

 

Paul truly had a captive audience as this person was with him all day (and night) long! I can only imagine how confining and frustrating this would be, especially when Paul longed to be with his friends: speaking, traveling, and sharing the gospel. Yet he did not feel sorry for himself; instead he viewed it as yet another opportunity to talk about Jesus. For two years, he was able to preach to the guards in the imperial palace, so that they not only believed, but then they began boldly sharing God’s message as well!

 

God help me to have this eternal mindset – to think of every interaction as a holy moment, an opportunity to talk about You. Allow me lay down my selfishness to see the world in need around me.

How often do we find ourselves in circumstances beyond our control or contrary to what we hoped or expected? How easy is it to feel stuck, resentful, and sorry for ourselves? If we believe that God is in charge, could we view even the worst experiences as eventual opportunities? Maybe it’s an opportunity to rely more fully on God and go deeper in our relationship with Him. Maybe it’s an opportunity to learn and use what we learned to help others. Maybe it’s an opportunity to talk to someone about Jesus and His love.

 

Life is hard. Life doesn’t usually go the way we plan. But Jesus did warn us about this in John 16:33. He said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” He is able to use every trouble for our good and His glory!

 

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