There I was, depressed over my current state. The situation I was in offered no hope. Things were hard. It was unfair. But, I ran across something that changed the way I thought. By the grace of God I was given hope. My situation did not change, but I did not let it defeat me. What was it that happened?
I realized the hope of the Gospel. Let’s check out what Paul says in Philippians 1:12-18. Here Paul is in prison. He was put there unjustly. Things were hard. And what does he say: “I want you to know brothers, that was has happened to me really served to advance the gospel” (vs.12). How did that happen? “it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ” (vs.13). So Paul, who was in prison, was there for Christ. But, why? For one, he was advancing the gospel as we saw above. It was doing that in so far as people were bolder to proclaim Jesus because of Paul’s imprisonment. They have become more confident in Jesus and as a result they were proclaiming Jesus without fear.
People in prison with Paul were sharing the gospel. The gospel was being proclaimed by different people for different reasons. Some good and some bad. But, Paul knowing this was rejoicing.
I realized that my situation could be used, and indeed would be used, to advance the gospel. The comfort I was given by God, I could share with others going through a hard time (2 Corinthians 4). The present hardship was not compared to the glories that will be revealed (Romans 8:18). Jesus suffered for us, leaving us an example, so that we could follow his steps (1Peter 2:12). He is with us, even when we feel he is far. When our life is focused on the Kingdom of God, it may not change the situation, it may not get any easier, and the reality of the hardship is still there. It is hard! But in this, there is hope, the hope of the gospel. It gives us the strength to keep going. Let us strive to advance the gospel in all of life.