Philippians 1:12-13 – Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has turned out to advance the gospel even more, so that it has become known…by everyone…that my imprisonment is for Christ.
Lo and behold, the Apostle Paul’s imprisonment not only did not suppress His gospel witness, but served to advance it even more. God knew what He was doing in giving Paul over to shackles!
What about our social isolation “imprisonment”? How might the Lord provide us with surprising advantage for gospel witness even from our place of restricted in-person access?
Certainly, as with Paul, our light of faith in Christ can show more brightly when it shines in the dark place of hardship. As Christians evidence our hope at a time when people are losing hope (1Peter 1:3-6), as we exhibit our “peace that defies understanding” (Philippians 4:7) while the world yields to anxiety, and as we express our security during a time of need by “caring not only for our own interests, but those of others” (Philippians 2:4), our light of gospel witness will shine.
But where has God given us special opportunities during these difficult times to share the good news of Christ which is the reason for our hope, peace, security and love? Paul’s prison guards become his captive audience. We may be homebound but we need not let that silence us. To whom has God “chained” you via social media? Are you using that forum to, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so” (Psalm 107:2), and “to give a reason for the hope that you have” (1Peter 3:15)? During this extended season of social isolation and physical and economic peril, people are longing for compassionate interaction, for a stable foundation and a sure hope. Many are likely more receptive to hearing testimony to Christ now than they ever have been.
Some of you are FaceBookers. If you are going to put something out there, why not that which is most important! Why not give clear testimony to your faith in Jesus! Whom are you texting or emailing, with whom you could share how your faith is sustaining you through these difficult times?
Paul saw his God-given opportunity and made the most of it. May the Lord help us to do the same.
Spend some time today asking the Lord to open your eyes to the special opportunities He has for you to advance the gospel during this unique season, and what step would He have you take today?