Dear Faith Family,
I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, (Philippians 1:12).
“Why me?” is a question that, at times, explodes off our tongues dripping with frustration or even despair. Quite frankly I don’t think it an all bad question. Instead, the attitude in the driver’s seat of the question is what can cause problems.
“Why me?” can help us focus our attention on what God is doing. In other words: “God, You have me here, now, for Your purposes. So, help me to understand how You would use me in these circumstances.”
Understanding what has happened to Paul might help us to understand what God was up to in and through Paul's life. You can read much of his story in the book of Acts. Paul was in prison in Rome when he wrote Philippians.
“According to the custom of that time, (Paul) was chained to soldiers, quite possibly to one on each side. In other words, he was not only confined to a particular cell or room, but his liberty was encroached upon in that way. He was never by himself, never left to himself even for a second. There was a constant relay of soldiers, who took their turn to be chained to him, one after another, as each period of duty was finished. He was not able to live privately in any sense of the term,” (D. Martin Lloyd-Jones).
So, why Paul? Why did he have to go through such quarantine? Well, he answered the question: “to advance the gospel.” The gospel was heard by the whole imperial guard! I’m not sure that Paul didn’t view the imperial guard as the prisoners. You try to gain a “captive” audience with the imperial guard! Your neighbors are your captive audience. This may be the greatest opportunity for you to get to know your neighbors!
Others were hearing that Paul was in prison for Christ. What did that do for their confidence? They were becoming much more bold to speak the word without fear.
What has happened to you? When you ask the question, “Why me?”, don’t ask with a selfish attitude. Instead, look for how God wants to use you to spread the good news about Jesus’ death and resurrection. Rest assured that whatever is happening to you includes His purpose to spread the gospel. Whatever is happening to you is an opportunity to encourage others as they watch God at work in and through you.
Don’t allow what is happening to you rule you. Be ruled by the God of what is happening to you.
In His love,