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

“Hey! I’m in prison and I did absolutely nothing wrong but that’s okay, more people are hearing about Jesus because of it, so I’m cool.”

Could you say that?

We whine and complain about not having enough money, not getting a promotion, that someone is talking bad about us, or simply because life isn’t “fun.”  The Apostle Paul was put in prison for nothing more than his religious beliefs (just as countless Christians are today all over the world in case you are not aware of that).  In the West, we may suffer some ridicule, maybe even some mild discrimination, but typically we are not robbed of our possessions or freedom, nor are in fear for our lives.

And yet, how many of us can truly say before God that we are okay with discomfort or persecution as long as Jesus is being promoted? How many of us can be content with LESS than what we WANT as long as the Gospel is progressing? How many of us are okay with being taunted, denied, or harassed as long as God’s will is being accomplished?

Just food for thought. I am not encouraging the emotional guilt-trip-type messages that constantly remind us Westerners how weak, powerless, and substandard we are to the rest of the world’s Christians. That’s nonsense. God calls all peoples in all times in all cultures and all social segments to live their life for Him the best they can in their circumstances. The curse of sin finds some Christians in much harder physical and political circumstances. That makes them no less blessed or no more spiritual. That makes US no more blessed or spiritual or favored by God. Circumstances are merely our God-given opportunity to be content, holy, and faithful no matter what life throws at us. God does not command us to seek imprisonment or death to be more spiritual but we certainly must remember, pray for, and empathize with those who are… and use our freedoms and blessings to help them when possible.

But it remains to be contemplated: do you moan and gripe about your difficult circumstances or do you thank God for them and the opportunity to spread the Gospel through your difficult circumstances?  Do you complain and lament when you suffer a bit for Christ’s sake or do you count it all joy that Christ is spotlighted by your faith and contentment in Him?

Say it with me: “I’m {suffering/persecuted/denied/ridiculed/lacking/harassed/mocked/tried} today but I’m okay with that because Jesus Christ is being glorified through my response of faith and the opportunity I have to share Jesus because of it.”