Joy in the Gospel
Philippians 1:12 KJV
But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;
Through Paul’s imprisonment in Rome, it was made evident, prison was meant to advance the gospel. In spite of the obstacles, dangers, and many disadvantages Paul experienced in prison, there was no hindrance to the spreading of the message of salvation. Paul experienced much sorrow in his journeys with Christ but he was unwavering in his devotion to the Lord. The chains he wore were meant to cause discomfort, pain and suffering but Paul perceived those bonds of iron as the joy of his salvation. His reason for living was summed up in one verse, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
Paul understood that if he died he would gain joyous fellowship with Christ but, the greatest need was to stay and continue in the advancement of the church. Paul lived a fruitful life encouraging the Philippian people to live joyfully in Christ no matter the situation. He taught them that Jesus Christ was working in their lives even though difficult circumstances were apparent in Paul’s life.
Where did Paul find such joy that would sustain him through the burden of being chained and imprisoned? How could the furtherance of the gospel be his sustaining joy? The real question for us might be in asking, “In what or in whom do we obtain our joy?” If our joy is not found in the person of Jesus Christ and what He has done for us on the cross, then we are men and women most miserable. Dear friends, we cannot be unhappy knowing God has revealed Himself to us personally through salvation. Christ has caused us to see Him as a Faithful Friend, a Helper of the helpless, the Lover of our soul and a continual source of abundant Joy.
Lord, may the joy of my heart be in sharing the gospel of Christ with those who are lost.