“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.
15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice...”
Paul writes from prison, but assures his readers that although his ministry has changed, God is still working. As a result of his suffering, the palace guard are hearing the truth from Paul, and others have been encouraged and emboldened to share Christ. Through God's Spirit, Paul is able to look beyond his suffering and see the good that is coming of it.
Praise God that He brings beauty from ashes. That like Joseph testified in Genesis 50:20 “20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” God is still working, no matter what we see going on around us.
Let's ask ourselves, are we more concerned with God's gospel being shared, than with our own comfort?
What are we doing to advance the gospel here and now, where God has put us? There are so many who need to know the hope and truth of the gospel.