I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. Philippians 1:12–13
Is the glass half empty or half full? This question has often determined just where people stand on the spectrum of pessimism versus optimism. Regardless of the volume of water in the cup, I invite you to see God’s reflection in the water.
The Book of Philippians is known as one of the Prison Letters. The apostle Paul finds himself in jail due to his testimony about Jesus. While he is confined, Paul writes this letter. Talk about a story of bad things happening to good people. Paul had many bad things happen to him, despite his great service to God.
Paul could have taken the “glass half empty” approach. He could have had an apostolic tantrum or whined to his disciple friends. He could have stopped altogether and decided that the hassle was not worth it. Instead, we see Paul saying, “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel” (v. 12).
Paul saw God’s reflection in his proverbial glass of water. Take a closer look at his response to the situation. Paul’s perspective reflected God’s action in a bad situation. Paul’s imprisonment brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the palace guards and Roman court. How reassuring to know that, no matter how bad life seems, God can do mighty things through those circumstances!
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, life can get very difficult at times. When I face bad situations, it can challenge who I am as Your child. Help me to see Your reflection in my life. Help me to trust that You are more powerful than anything that can happen to me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Jennifer Probst—Gathering Planner—St. James Lutheran, Lafayette, IN
Copyright © 2016 Concordia Publishing House. Scripture: ESV®.