Devotion - Hope in the Midst, Part 2

All this week our devotions are from members of the West Side family. Since we are separated during this time, and you are hearing a good deal from me as your pastor but less, perhaps, from one another, it's a gift to hear and join in how others in our fellowship are walking with Jesus during this time.

Today's devotion is from Stacy Kutz. Stacy is on staff at WSPC, working with our Kids & Families, Youth, and Young Adults.

(Psalms 16-20 / Proverbs 4 / Philippians 1:12-14)

This morning we are continuing our series on Hope in the Midst.

Extraordinary circumstances provide us with extraordinary opportunities. Paul goes on to say not only is God still working, not only does nothing stop the gospel, but he says that in his imprisonment God is at work to expand the reach of the gospel of Jesus Christ even further because of his imprisonment.

Philippians 1:12-14, “Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.”

Because, maybe especially because of Paul’s imprisonment, God was at work in some unique and extraordinary ways.

I am reminded of the life of John Bunyan. For those who don’t recognize his name, I’m sure you are familiar with his book, The Pilgrim’s Progress. Bunyan was an English Puritan who lived from 1628-1688. He devoted his life to the glory of Christ and the advancement of the gospel of Christ. In fact, he spent 12 years of his life in prison for preaching the gospel; he could’ve had his freedom anytime he wanted, if he would have simply agreed not to preach… but he would not. During his time in jail, Bunyan wrote his famous book which has done much to advance the gospel. God is indeed at work in all circumstances!

It is often in times of suffering that believers find there is a greater platform both to display and to give reason for their hope in Christ. Perhaps we see this more than ever now. There is a readiness to engage. People are thinking about issues of life and death. People are ready to ask questions about God and about eternal life. I know I have had many questions from students such as: Why would God allow this to happen to the world? What’s going to happen to me or to my family members or young children if they die from the virus? Is God good? Will God take care of my family’s physical needs even when my parents have been furloughed from work? Questions provide us with the opportunity to share good news. And here it is: God is present, active in our world, bringing all things back to Himself. And we are sent out to spread this good news to every person and created thing.

Let us be Kingdom workers: good-news people, chosen to bless this anxious, fear-filled world with the freedom and joy that comes from belonging in Christ. News doesn’t get much better than that.
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