02/13/20 Advancing the Gospel

READING: Exodus 25-27, Psalm 90, Philippians 1

When we’re in the midst of difficult times—and we all have them eventually—it’s sometimes hard to see God’s hand in them. We get caught up in the pressures and struggles, and our circumstances sometimes overshadow our faith. Trusting God’s hand is not always easy, especially when our trouble seems to come in times of our greatest faithfulness.

The apostle Paul was in the midst of both learning and teaching trust as he wrote his letter to the Philippians. He was in jail for his faith, and surely that reality burdened the Philippian believers. Paul wanted them to know, however, that he could still see God’s working around him; in fact, he recognized that “what what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel” (Phil 1:12). The gospel was thrust forward as guards around Paul saw his faith, and believers in the area found more boldness to “speak the word without fear” because of his faithfulness (Phil 1:14). It was thus right for Paul to conclude that his imprisonment was for the cause of Christ.

It’s faith speaking when we can say that the chains that bind us for obedience are actually a means by which God reaches others. It’s seeing beyond the temporal, redirecting attention to what really matters, and somehow seeing the hand of God when no one else can easily see it. The gospel presses deeper into the darkness when God’s light shines through us even in painful situations.

If your life is difficult today, I pray God will use it to advance His work!

PRAYER: “Lord, help me to trust You even when my faith costs me much.”

TOMORROW’S READING: Exodus 28-31, Psalm 90, Philippians 2