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Devotional - week of April 3, 2005


FURTHERANCE OF THE GOSPEL

But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel ...  Philippians 1:12

Paul wrote this passage while he was in prison in Rome. He had gone to Rome for the sake of the furtherance of the gospel. His purpose was now being realized through imprisonment.

In the following verses Paul expresses his belief that his imprisonment was for the spreading of the gospel. He writes:

… it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.    Philippians 1:13,14

There are reasons we can know that the difficult circumstances that we are in right now can result in the furtherance of the gospel.

We observe and think about believers who face tough times with a spirit of peace and calm. Many of us say, “He has something I don’t have. I wish I had faith like that.” Some of us will turn to the Lord and to His word for that faith. Then our growing faith will, in some way, result in the spread of the gospel.

Difficult times can open the eyes of believers who have neglected to live out the will of God. Some are brought to a deep and sincere yielding of their lives to the Lord. In God’s own plans He will use those yielded lives in the furtherance of the gospel.

The hard times that we have may reveal that we need more faith. These same circumstances can be the cause for more faith. This is true because God uses tough circumstances to break the faith we have in ourselves.

We cannot trust ourselves and God at the same time. A Breaking of faith in ourselves will result in a greater faith in God. This will result in the furtherance of the Gospel because when we live by faith in God, He has access to our lives. He, then, can use us as He chooses. His plan for every believer always includes the spread of the gospel.

When we live by faith, we live by grace. In grace we look to God as our only resource for life. And that is what God desires for each of us.