God Uses Struggle for Good

Inspire  The other morning, before I went into work, my heart was pulled into the book of Philippians. I’ve read through this book probably four or five times, but the Lord is ALWAYS revealing new things in His word, so I went back. It only took me until about halfway through the first chapter before I stopped dead and went back to reread this again and again:

“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel…”

~Philippians 1:12 (NIV) 

As Paul is writing to the Philippians about the goodness of God and His Gospel, he’s in jail. If Paul can praise God while he sits in prison, why is it so hard for us when we hit a minor bump in the road? We blame God, or even get angry at Him when things don’t go our way, or the way we think He should let them go. Let’s put that verse back in context and see the rest of Paul’s point…

“(12) Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,  that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. (13) As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. (14)  And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.”

See there? God uses our suffering or “chains” to further the Gospel and inspire others through our testimonies. It should be clear to those around us, our “palace guard” we’ll say, that even though life isn’t going the way WE wanted it to or planned for it to go, that we’re pushing through the tough stuff to glorify Christ. Our struggle should inspire others to want to live for Christ, even through the difficulties. They too should want to look at their lives and say “Hey, I may be stuck right now, but I serve a good God Who will lead me through this and bring me out a lot stronger on the other side!” It’s a win/win situation, we get through our tough stuff and the name of the Lord gets lifted up and praised because we trusted Him to walk us through it!

“(16) Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (17) For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (18) So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

~2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the raceand complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”

~Acts 20:24 (NIV) 

I’ll leave you with this…