“But I Want You To Know”

Paul wrote, “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel” (Phil. 1:12). At this time Paul was in prison for preaching the faith. He had done no wrong, robbed no man, or rebelled against any government. He simply strove to save men’s souls through preaching the gospel. Still, he was jailed.

In such circumstances, many men would not care about the souls of those around them. They would write letters complaining about the conditions of their captivity, restrictions on freedom, or plans for revenge on their enemies. But, unlike others, Paul continued to do the Lord’s will. He taught as many as he could.

We need to be like Paul when we find ourselves in similar situations. Bad things happen to us all. Rather, than being filled with bitterness and resentment, let us be determined to maintain our faith in God and help others obey Jesus.

Joseph is another good example. He was betrayed by his own brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused by his master’s wife, and jailed (Gen. 37, 39). Every time things seemed to be going his way-favor of his father, rule in his master’s house-life seemingly turned against him. Yet, Joseph kept serving God and man. In the end, he was abundantly blessed.

We may be attacked by our enemies or betrayed by our friends. At such times it is easy to give up and turn from serving God. The danger of being angry at the world is high. However, we need to see that something good can come of it all: an opportunity to teach the lost; an elevation in life; a chance to help the unfortunate.

Everyone faces adversity. We need to make a decision how we are going to handle it. Will we grow weary or press on? The answer will determine our happiness in this life, and at least in part, our destiny in the next.

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