Dear Hope family,

Thought for the Week

“What has happened to me”

Philippians 1v12 “I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel” (NIV)

Many things “happen to us” where:

  • We have little or no control over their happening.
  • We had little or no sense of them being in the future for us.
  • We have not “deserved” them in any way.

For Paul writing from prison, this included the malicious “happenings” of false accusation; the negligent “happenings” of delays to trials; the natural “happenings” of storm and shipwreck; and the system “happenings” of being in chains under guard.

Did Paul turn to self-pity? to criticism of God? Maybe he did at some points depending how we understand “learned to be content” in Philippians 4v11, but he has come to see that there is a greater “happening” going on. It is the advance of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The reality for Paul was this – in every situation he broadcast God’s message of salvation. The things that “happened” to him served to broaden that opportunity. The facts did not change, but his perception did.

The challenge for us is, “Do I see what God can do through me in my current situation?”.

The comfort for us is, “God works in all things for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8v28)

With love and blessing,