An Eternal View of Circumstances
Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. - Philippians 1:12
Are your life circumstances advancing the gospel? Can you see the Lord's hand in your life in such a way that all of your life experiences, joys, sorrows, hardships, and training have resulted in advancing the gospel?
Paul was a tentmaker by trade. But he had an overall ministry objective in his business life. That objective left him imprisoned and persecuted at times. But Paul saw these events not as roadblocks to his mission. Rather, they were catalysts to advancing the cause of Christ. Paul's revelation of this kept him from despairing about his circumstances.
One day a little-known pastor who lived in the small African nation of Benin began to pray for his Marxist president. For two years he prayed. Then the Lord told the pastor to go to meet this president and share the gospel with him. The president rejected the gospel, but after another such occasion, the president accepted the gospel and became a Christian. He was removed from power but was discipled by this pastor. Sometime later this same president was elected again. Today that president is now a Christian leader of a nation committed to spreading the gospel throughout his nation. One man - yet millions have been affected by his obedience. This modern-day story is retold in countless lives of those willing to live for a cause greater than themselves.
Are your work and life experiences serving to advance the gospel? What experiences has God allowed in your life that are part of His plan to advance the gospel? Ask Him to help you see your life the way He sees it. Seeing our life the way God sees it will help us avoid discouragement in those times when life appears to be a mystery to us.
(by Os Hillman, from Today God Is First, Destiny Image Publishers, Inc. Copyright 2000)