"But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel." Philippians 1:12
This verse in the Amplified Bible reads as follows: "Now I want you to know and continue to rest assured, brethren, that what [has happened] to me [this imprisonment] has actually only served to advance and give a renewed impetus to the [spreading of the] good news (the Gospel)." What a wonderful outlook on the situation. Paul knew that he was called by the Lord to spread the gospel, he knew that he was called to reach the lost, he knew he had been given a commission to fulfill and he knew that his steps were ordered by the Lord. Therefore, he knew that whatever he went through, even imprisonment, that it served a purpose. He knew that all things work together for the good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. He knew he wasn't in prison by accident. He knew he was there by the divine will of God. He knew that if God had ordered his steps into the prison, then God was going to get glory from it somehow and it was to be an instrument to help further the gospel.
I wonder if we were Paul living in prison would we be able to say the same thing? I wonder if we would see it as an opportunity to spread the gospel? I wonder if we would see any "good" in it? I wonder if we would have the same outlook? I wonder if we "do"? I haven't been imprisoned, but I face many trying situations. I find myself going through stormy times, perplexing times, times of illness, times of attack by the enemy, times of weariness and times when the enemy tries to hold me captive to a bondage of the flesh. If I know that I am called to represent the kingdom of God and help spread the good news about Jesus, then I need to realize that whatever comes my way is an opportunity to help further the gospel.
How so? The way I handle the situation either lifts Jesus up or pulls Him down. It either testifies of who He is or it testifies against Him. It either shines the light on His power, love and glory or it hides it. When I go through these times, I can either moan and groan, murmur and complain, feel sorry for myself, ask endless "whys" or I can exhibit the peace of God, the joy of the Lord, praise Him in spite of the situation, point to Him as my source of strength, help and grace. When I do the latter, I am helping to further the gospel because I am lifting Jesus up and He said that if He was lifted up He would draw all men to Himself.
Have a great day. What are you "spreading" in your situation?