From the Dec. 6th reading
Our hope is not in anything this world has to offer, but in Him. He is our anchor. He is our true North.
READ: Philippians 1:12-14
Philippians 1:12
Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.” (NIV)
  • “What has happened to me” – Paul’s imprisonment!
  • Where? – Rome. Under house arrest
  • It “served to advance the gospel”
  • All of the palace guard heard the gospel while taking their turn
  • Everyone knew that Paul was imprisoned because of his faith in Christ (V. 13)
  • His chains encouraged others to be bolder in sharing their faith. (V. 14)


  • Our suffering should be an opportunity to share Christ in us.
  • Our faith should encourage others to live for Christ
  • Others should be able to recognize Jesus in us.
It was 1991 and the market crashed causing the first recession of my adult life. Jobs that once were prevalent in southern California were nowhere to be found. Houses that used to sell for $400K were now worth half that. People were leaving behind family and friends to find jobs elsewhere. There was this older couple in our church at the time. He was a fairly new believer and she had grown up in the church her whole life. They owned a company and had been fairly successful. But now they were in the process of losing everything. Barbara was in a panic and the worry of the situation was etched across her face. John on the other hand, was calm and refused to stop praising the Lord. He was a picture of faith in the midst terrible loss. He was a testimony to every one of the hope that we find in Christ.
This is what Paul was trying to teach the believers in Philippi. He wanted them to learn an important lesson: there are no accidents with God. Instead of Paul’s ministry being impeded by his imprisonment, it was being advanced. All in Rome wo came in contact with Paul heard about Christ.
Tradition teaches us that when a person was taken into Roman custody, that they were actually chained at the waist with one of the guards. Each day a new guard was brought in and the chains were removed and then another guard was chained to Paul. Rather than moan and complain at this predicament, Paul saw it as an opportunity. These guards were chained to him; he was not chained to them. They had to sit and listen to Paul talk to everyone that came to visit or to take of his needs. And every conversation that Paul had was laced with the gospel and with his teachings. Even while he was dictating this letter for the church in Philippi, every word was listened to by an extra set of ears. Over time every one of the palace guards had heard Paul’s teaching. Every one of them had heard about the hope found in Jesus.
Not only that, but from this passage we learn that Paul’s plight encouraged others to speak more boldly of their faith to others (V. 14). One author put it this way: “The positive response Paul received in the face of opposition caused others to speak more courageously and fearlessly for Christ. Paul’s confinement was doing what his circumstances outside of prison could never do.[i] Others had persisted in Paul’s imprisonment, hoping for his eventual crucifixion. Had they known that his message of Jesus Christ was going to grow even stronger they may have rethought their strategy.
God can use any circumstance that we find ourselves in no matter how severe. His ultimate goal is to bring Himself glory and to reach as many with the gospel as possible. And unfortunately that sometimes means our suffering. Over the last few months everywhere we look we see tragedy and people struggling. It is almost everywhere and the heaviness can be felt even in our church. How we react and how we respond to these trials is the evidence of our faith.
The question we all must ask ourselves is: where is our hope? For Shelli and I this verse found in Romans has become our anchor; “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 15:13) Our hope is in Jesus. Our hope is not in anything this world has to offer, but in Him. He is our anchor. He is our true North.
Where do you find your hope? Is it the things of this world? People? The economy? Our hope can only be found in one place – Jesus!
If you are going to a trial right now pray that God will give you the hope that you need and that you will be able be a witness of His goodness and strength to others. If not you, then pray for others who are going through difficult times. They aren’t hard to find.
Each week’s Monday Motivation is taken from the reading schedule found in the Life Journal. If you are ready for the next step in your discipleship, then order yours today or see me for a copy.
If you would like help in growing in your faith, or if you would like to know how to have faith in Him, then please contact us at (928)636-2949 or email me at pastorguy@cvgrace.com
[i] Lightner, R. P. (1985). Philippians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 651). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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