Philippians 1:1-26, Psalm 88
It is astounding that some of the most important work in human history was done in a prison. As Paul writes to the church in Philippi, though he is “in chains” (Philippians 1:7), he sees this situation as an opportunity to “advance the Gospel”. Truly, Paul had no idea just how right he was. For Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon were all written from behind bars, and the global church, not to mention the world has never been the same. It is one thing to boldly assert that “Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.” (Philippians 1:20) Still, it is another thing altogether for us to bear witness to how Christ has exalted the name above all names through the most impossible circumstances. Most people in the U.S. church see success as having large auditoriums filled with people holding lattes and belting out glad tunes, usually the newest CCM hit. What if there the work of Christ is happening just as fruitfully in detention centers, nursing homes, and the places where so many Christians refuse to go? I would suggest that Paul’s example teaches us our Lord delights in advancing the Gospel not as much through our seeming successes, but through our supposed failures. Of course God can use both, but our Lord delights in showing power where all we see is frailty. Cling to that truth today, you weak and weary ones who love our meek and mild Savior.