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Philippians 1:12: What Has Happened To me

Philippians 1:12
[12] I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, (ESV)

How do you view the circumstances that happen in your life? Do you celebrate the things that are enjoyable and curse those that were painful? That is certainly the way the world views things. Paul had once belonged to the world, but now as a follower of Jesus Christ he has a very different perspective. He is able to see the value in even the painful moments of life.

In verse 12 he speaks of "what has happened to me." What happened to Paul? In Paul's first visit to Philippi he preached the Gospel and helped to establish the church. He cast a demon out of a young slave girl and his reward was to be imprisoned, severely beaten, and chased out of town by the Roman guard. Over the next few years he had experienced great hardship and was now imprisoned in Rome.

Paul is not one to bemoan all of his negative circumstances. Rather, he finds the godly purpose found in the midst of his circumstances. Paul says that his circumstances have helped to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For Paul, his main purpose was spreading the Gospel. His main purpose was not physical comfort.

You will find satisfaction in your circumstances if you are focused on something greater than your circumstances. For the believer in Jesus Christ, that something greater is spreading the Gospel. A Christian would rather please his Savior than please himself. A disciple of Jesus knows that just as Jesus suffered for us, we will suffer for him.

What has happened to you? Are you able to celebrate what God is doing in your life, regardless of the circumstances? Do you live for what is greater? Ask God to help you in your perspective.