Father, as the Church endures oppression by our enemy through social isolation, financial and health concerns, and media overload please help us focus on truth. Remind us that the main purpose of everything we do should be to glorify You. Help us to feel that no matter what happens Your Kingdom is being advanced during this time and THAT is the greatest benefit! I pray You give us comfort at this time. Comfort knowing You are clearly in control and our enemy has nothing he can wage against us that you cannot take care of. Amen.
12 I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. 14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
This last Sunday we had an entire sermon on perspective from these verses. We discussed how our perspective can be on our self and circumstances or it can be on God and His certain Word. I proposed that our perspective effects what we proclaim. That if our perspective is on God and His certain Word we will proclaim the Gospel instead of discouragement!
I wonder today if what you are proclaiming is glorifying to God or if you are proclaiming conspiracy, fear, depression, or sadness? We see that Paul, when he was being pressed down by the enemy, used it to glorify God. He proclaimed God’s glory and His greatness! Therefore the moment that Satan was hoping would push Paul away from ministry and discourage him became just another opportunity for him (Paul) to further God’s Kingdom. Paul used his circumstance to highlight how powerless his self was. Then he pushed people to look at God and His certain Word.
Our circumstances are an opportunity each day. We can either fall prey to our surroundings, being pushed to an fro like a frail kayak on a troubled ocean or we can stay a course firmly like a mighty sailing vessel on calm waters. God has promised us that He will sustain us through everything. Let’s not forsake God’s promise when it is actually needed. It is in these times we have greater use for what He has said. We can look at His certain Word and be comforted, be reminded of His faithfulness. It is in these times that we find significant benefit being able to look through history and see His story of faithfulness played out.
We are at a point in history that cannot be compared to. That can be looked at in two ways: 1) we have never seen such destruction and anguish, 2)we have never seen such an opportunity to ACT OUT OUR FAITH!! God is great, above all things, and when He gives us opportunities to be faithful it is time to let the Holy Spirit shine through us showing the world what His potential is through our lives.
Lets band around the Spirit and confer with Him daily. Lets be in constant communication, asking what we are to do, where we are to post/comment/call. We are challenged to use “what has happened to [us to] really [serve] to advance the Gospel.” Let’s do it!
Lord, we know our tendencies. We know we gravitate towards fear, depression, discouragement, and concern. We know we have been trained from our youth to look at the waves around us for gauging how well we will weather the storm. I pray that TODAY we stop focusing on these circumstances as though something has majorly changed. Remind us that nothing has changed: You are still on Your Throne working Your Will towards Your Return! Remind us that we have the same mission now as ever and as time draws closer to an end it is just as important (if not more) to be focused on You now and preach Your Word!
Find a believer who is discouraged or concerned. Ask them what you can do to help them. Also, be in prayer everyday for those around us that are fighting the same fight. Pray that your life will spur others on towards the Gospel. Pray that your reactions during these difficult times reflect your trust in God, not yourself.