The Boldest Response in Crisis
Because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear. Philippians 1:14
Their leader was in prison. The first Christian church in Europe could have easily closed. But then the letter arrived.
The Philippian church in the New Testament was emboldened when they read about the Apostle Paul’s imprisonment. Arrested for preaching the gospel, the church saw that Paul didn’t simply fall apart in terrible times–he was unshaken in his joy, faith, and love. His letter to the church said, “And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News” (Philippians 1:13). As they saw him proclaiming Jesus’s worth with joy, even in chains, they too began to declare the wonder of Jesus more boldly!
Realizing that suffering, crises, and pain can’t steal our eternal hope is powerful. It makes us want to live for eternity. It reframes the threat of loss, imprisonment, and death. Paul said it this way in a letter to Jesus-followers in Rome: “What we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.” In fact, Paul went one step further; He said not only was suffering not worth comparing to the glory of eternity with Jesus, but he pointed out that God could use the suffering for good!
Jesus followers, when we see how God can use even anguish for our good and His glory, we can trust Him in the hard things we’re facing. We can be confident that He will lead us into good. This enables us to have a unique and bold response to the crises of life—we can respond with a countercultural, inexplicable faith!
Only Jesus is able to offer us unshakable hope.