Forside Articles ”What Has Happened to Me…” (Phil. 1:12)
”What Has Happened to Me…” (Phil. 1:12) Udskriv Email
Skrevet af Jørn Nielsen   
Søndag, 25. oktober 2015 05:45

The apostle is obviously not talking about some exciting experiences in the social life with other complacent and “nice” people. He´s sharing with us tough hardships plus, and maybe still worse, the dislike and opposition of Christian friends who for many reasons didn´t nourish the best wishes for him.  That´s what happened to him.

He frequently exposes himself, not because we should feel sorry for him, but to testify how to be in chains  in Christ and in Him only. Secondly,  those unpleasant circumstances were a gospel advantage (Phil. 1:12).

I don´t know what has happened to you these days.  God knows, and He has provided the same circumstantial  grace for you as He did for Paul enabling you and I to say as a real truth when we´re asked, “How are you doing?” – “Well, what has happened to me this week has made the gospel more real and given me more courage about its cause!”

Let me be honest enough to say, that friends´ deceit, dishonesty, hypocrisy, false accusations, “cold shoulders”, etc. tend to breed bitterness and crush me down, thus suddenly finding myself as the real loser.  In a flash, however, “the still small voice” reminds me how it´s possible to carry it all in Christ.  That went powerfully home to me at this last wakeful night.  When “in Christ” become more than a pious phrase, but rather a happy way out of your self pity, you rejoice abundantly .

But the purpose of applying that freedom in Christ is as was the case in Paul´s life, “the furtherance of the gospel”.  The aim is not to be more “sociable” or “entertaining”, but to be more on fire for the gospel.  The NEB puts it in this beautiful way, “I want you to understand that the work of the Gospel has been helped on, rather than hindered by this business of mine…”  (Phil. 1:12).

May your and my business (and circumstances) have this glorious aim!

October 25, 2015 - jn

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