Image by Lel4nd via Flickr
What is my choice of belief and action when things "happen" to me? Is it for the "furtherance of the gospel", the spreading of the good news? Or is it for the furtherance of the bad news?
Paul was in prison writing this and was clearly speaking of his bonds -- that they were for the furtherance of the gospel. I wonder what my words might have been had it been me sitting in that jail cell. . ."Oh, these bonds are tight, and my back hurts sitting on this hard floor. It stinks in here and the damp air is giving me a headache. . ."
When the trials and temptations of my life come, how much better for me to choose for them to be for the furtherance of the good news by proclaiming just that, the good news -- that this event was ultimately by God's hand and that He is working this very minute in it to work this thing for my good. Not just for some general good that I cannot see, but for MY good. I will make the choice to trust both His hand and His heart.
I should ask in these times that the Lord will reveal to me what He wants me to see of Him through this, what He wants me to learn of Him by it and to whom He wants me to minister and share during it.
I have a dear friend who has lately been troubled with a particular physical ailment. I was greatly touched when he shared with me that every time he feels the pain from this ailment he has committed to pray for Christians who are dealing with a similar situation. He has chosen to take his "bonds" and use them for the furtherance of the gospel by praying for others.
"Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. " 2 Corinthians 4:10-12