THE BIG PICTURE....GOD'S VIEW
“I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News” (Philippians 1:12 NLT).
I am slowly learning that everything that happens; good, bad, ugly, or indifferent….everything is God working out a plan for us. No matter what it seems like, His plan is unfolding. Paul saw this in his verse today. Ever since Paul had become a Christian on the road to Damascus, he had one great dream….that once in a lifetime achievement goal. He wanted to preach in Rome. He was a citizen of Rome and Rome was the center of the world and universe at the time. He wanted to preach the Gospel in the most important city in the world.
Well, as we all know, God had another idea and plan for Paul. Instead of sending him directly to Rome to preach crusades, he made him a royal prisoner of Nero. Nero was about as bad and wicked as they come. Paul was chained to a royal guard 24 hours a day for 2 years. The guard changed every 4 hours. Over those 2 years in prison, if I have done my math right, he had 4,380 opportunities to witness to guards. So, who is the prisoner here? Did Paul not have a “captive” audience?
Obviously, this was not Paul’s plan or dream but it WAS God’s plan the whole time.
We know this produced 2 results we know for sure:
1) In Philippians 4, it says in that 2 year time that some of Nero’s own household had become believers because of Paul’s witness in the royal court in Rome.
2) Paul was not a man to sit still. However, in prison, he was forced to be still. As a result, he wrote parts of the New Testament. We can debate this but what do you think has had bigger impact, preaching in the colosseum …OR….the books he wrote that have revealed Jesus to an immeasurable amount of people over the years.
He knew God had a bigger plan and he rejoiced because he saw what God was doing through him and his problems.
NEXT TIME WE HAVE A PROBLEM THAT IS GETTING US DOWN!!!! LET’S DO WHAT PAUL DID.
HE SAW IF FROM GOD’S POINT OF VIEW.
ASK YOURSELF, WHAT IS GOD DOING HERE? WHAT IS THE BIGGER PERSPECTIVE? THEN WE CAN FACE THE PROBLEM IN FAITH.
“God being outside of time; sees the past, present, and future. We cannot even see as far as the next moment. God knows for certain. We know but a guess. Who are you going to trust with it all?”