Do we allow our moments of discouragement, to become an opportunity, for God to work through these difficult times or are we so tightly focused on what is wrong; that we cannot see what good can come about through our circumstances? In Philippians 1:12-14, it says… “Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. (13) As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. (14) Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.”
Do we see our moments of circumstance as Paul did, while he was in prison? We can either allow our circumstances to turn us into bitter people or we can choose to rise above them and use them as a tool; to cultivate the heart of another person in need.
There was a time, when I had to have two knee surgeries, within a 6 week period. I felt overwhelmed…not only with the surgeries themselves but also with the recovery time. This was a time, when I felt very discouraged…as though hope had completely left me alone; but over time, I came to see that I could either allow these difficult and trying moments to take me down or I could use them in a positive way; that would bring honor and glory to Christ’s name. I soon realized that when I took the negative circumstances and used them in a positive way; then I was allowing Satan to be defeated, while God was being magnified.
When we allow the difficult moments in our lives to discourage us; we only find that we sink deeper into more despair. Instead, we need to look at the trying moments of circumstance, as though God has us in a “training camp”…being prepared, for a special purpose that will bring honor and glory to His name. We may have moments, when we feel as though we are in a prison cell, as Paul was but these should be the times, when we exchange the circumstance, for something greater…that will strengthen us and reach out to others, at the same time.
We need to remember that how we react to these difficult times, will either make us appear, as though we are a part of the world or we will allow the world to see something greater that can help them too. Jesus may not be here in human form but there are many ways He can be seen to the world and this is one of them. Are we allowing the world around us to view Jesus, so they can have the opportunity to experience His love and goodness or are we showing the world that we serve a weak and defeated God?