Proclaiming Christ in Times of Trouble
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“I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice” (Philippians 1:12-18)
During Paul’s imprisonment there were many things that he could have spent his time considering. He could have worried about his situation, grown depressed over why these things were happening to him, or grown angry at the unfairness of being imprisoned simply because he proclaimed the truth. Instead of any of these things, he rejoiced because, through his imprisonment, the Gospel of Christ was being proclaimed in every corner of Rome.
The brethren were more bold in proclaiming the Word. Even those who did not accept the truth of Christ and were only speaking with ill will were talking about it. Either way, Christ was being proclaimed.
We need to remember that the times when it seems we are going through the most are when our proclamations of the Gospel have the greatest effect. The world watches the measure of our faith far more in times of trouble than when all is well. Therefore, we should be like Paul and rejoice – even in times of trouble, that the opportunity is present to bring glory to our Savior in his service.