It's Not by Accident
But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; ~Philippians 1:12
Have you ever had an occurrence after which you made the statement, “This did not happen by accident”? After the occurrence unfolded, you came to the realization that God was orchestrating things behind the scenes to bring about your situation. Paul was imprisoned in Rome. Of all things, he was chained between two Roman guards inside of Caesar’s palace. From the perspective of those who opposed Paul, it looked like he would be hindered from advancing the cause of Christ. However, Paul did not think that at any time. He knew almost instantaneously that God’s hand was in what was going on and that he was not there by accident! God’s purpose helps us to see God advancing the gospel message in spite of what appears to be an impossible situation.
We must remember the purpose of the gospel.
The gospel is the good news that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried, and, three days after, rose from the dead. It is the glorious proclamation that salvation is the free gift of God and that it is available to whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord. We are stewards of the gospel. God has commissioned the gospel message to us to spread throughout the world. As Acts 1:8 commands, we are to advance the gospel in every city, county, country, and continent. The purpose of the gospel is that sinners will hear and be saved. The gospel light is the only means to dispel the darkness of sin that is in this world.
We must remember the power of the gospel.
It is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes. Paul looked at his situation and told the believers at Philippi, “The things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.” The gospel was not being hindered by Paul’s imprisonment: his imprisonment was a motivating factor in advancing its spread! Many believers became much bolder to proclaim the gospel because of Paul’s imprisonment. The power of the gospel stirred hearts to fill in the void due to Paul’s imprisonment. There were more believers witnessing and telling others of their need of salvation. And, while Paul’s desire was that he was the one out there preaching the gospel, he saw the power of the gospel advancing in spite of his situation.
We must remember the providence in the gospel.
The gospel is not hid where there are obedient Christians. Paul was rejoicing that the gospel was being furthered. It was getting into places faster than before. It was being proclaimed more fervently by believers who previously were not as aggressive about its promotion. Paul knew that he was not imprisoned by accident. As we reflect on this thought, we must realize that whatever things happen in our life are for the purpose and providence of furthering the gospel. When a trial comes into our life, it serves a three-fold purpose. First, God uses it to refine us so that we come forth as gold. Second, God uses it to bring glory to His name. Third, God uses it so that the gospel can be preached to people and in places where it otherwise would not have been furthered. God has a providential reason why He places certain situations before us. These situations are never by accident.
Is it an accident? Not if we submit ourselves to God’s providence and purpose. Let God use whatever is happening in your life to further the cause of the gospel. Be submissive to His plan for your life, and let the gospel touch more lives because of this.
Have a purposed God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Psalms 21-25