When Prison Is a Good Thing
Today we being the book of Philippians. Here in Philippians 1 Paul writes about how his time in prison has actually been a good thing. Paul isn’t in prison for anything that he did wrong. He is in prison for the sake of the gospel. He is in prison because he is preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. But he is not allowing his wrongful imprisonment to keep him away from doing the right thing. He is continuing to preach the gospel. Look at what he writes in the first chapter: 12 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Prison has given Paul the opportunity to be an ambassador for Jesus to the entire palace guard and other followers of Jesus have been encouraged and have gained confidence in their own ability and desire to preach the gospel because of Paul’s chains. I suppose they thought that if Paul could follow Jesus in prison, they could follow Jesus out of prison. Paul’s example stirred them on. I’ve known people in my life who have used their time in prison as an effective time to witness. Now, they were in prison because of what they did wrong, but they did not allow that to keep them from sharing Christ. They not only had an effective witness in the prison but others outside were encouraged by their faith and obedience.
It might not be prison in your life but there are going to be situations and circumstances that you find yourself in, whether of your own fault or not, that are not good. What will you do in the midst of those times? Will you pout…blame God…feel defeated? Or, will you learn from Paul’s example and live out the gospel of Jesus Christ? Make the most of a difficult situation. Often, in those times people can see Jesus in you very clearly. Your “prison” can often lead to freedom in Christ for someone else.