Today I finally managed to get my inbox back down to zero. While I was tempted to declare “Email Bankruptcy”, I was able to resist. I knew if I did, something would get missed.
This is a great piece of text in that Paul is once again, through his life, not only proclaiming the Gospel, but also the usefulness of it. Here we have a man who is imprisoned for preaching the Good News of Jesus, yet, not only is he not downtrodden about his circumstances and lamenting all that he can’t do as a result of his confinement, he is rejoicing in what God is doing as a result. How great a lesson is that? Not the plastic “I have faith and it’s going to be ok. I’ll just ignore the fact that my house burned down.” kind of denial of reality, but real, honest to goodness “Yep, my house burned down, but look at the relationships I have built with my neighbors and as a result, Christ is evident even in these circumstances.” The message here is, no affliction is too great that God can’t or won’t use it to further His Kingdom. Remember Joseph in Gen 50:19? God never promises that things will all be ok, in fact, just the opposite is true-check out the last verse. It is how we respond to those times of difficulty that matter.
There is a sense of urgency and a sense of finality to everything Jesus had said that night, and in the midst of it, this sentence kind of hides there.