Often we look at our circumstances and, for better or worse, put ourselves at the very centre of them. They must be about me, for me, against me, and altogether concerning me. In vv.12-14 Paul shows us that, really, for better or worse, our circumstances are about much bigger things.
The believers in Philippi are obviously concerned for Paul’s wellbeing whilst in prison (v.12), yet Paul highlights to them that, do you know what, whether I am in prison or am freed miraculously as before (cf. Acts 16.11-40), the main thing is still the main thing,
…what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel…
His imprisonment is being used to advance the gospel. Quite an influential incarceration!
He writes that he was able to witness to the whole imperial guard and to all the rest, and that the local believers have become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment and are therefore more bold to speak the word without fear.
Is the same true for you? Can you look at whatever is happening to you and around you and say, well Lord, how is this being used to advance the gospel?
We don’t all need to be incarcerated for the gospel to have such influence, as Paul was, but we would do well to take his perspective and apply that to our lives today; keeping the main thing as the main thing in our lives (v.12), and to see the God-given positives in every situation (vv.13-14).
Try and employ this perspective today!