12 And I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. 13 For everyone here, including all the soldiers in the palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. 14 And because of my imprisonment, many of the Christians here have gained confidence and become more bold in telling others about Christ. 15 Some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. 16 They preach because they love me, for they know the Lord brought me here to defend the Good News. 17 Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. 18 But whether or not their motives are pure, the fact remains that the message about Christ is being preached, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice. 19 For I know that as you pray for me and as the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will all turn out for my deliverance.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.
Paul knew what his priority for life was and that is what he focused on while he was in prison. He was looking at the purpose for his life and not on the circumstances. Because he understood that the priority was to reach the lost for Christ, he could be joyful. Paul put God first in every situation and God gave him peace. He was focused on what really mattered, he was looking at the eternal and not just the external. He was sharing Christ with those who did not know Him and he was encouraging other Christians to live boldly for Christ. When you are faced with problems and trials, put God first and see what a difference it will make. Proverbs 3:6 tells us, “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your effort with success.” Is there a need that wakes you up at night and keeps you up because you cannot see an answer? Try putting God first, read His Word and believe it. Then apply it to your need and keep on trusting that God will work all things out for your good according to His purpose. Keep your focus on His promises and not on what you see and He will fill you with peace and show you the answer.
Have a God Day!