It’s easy to talk about our faith when all’s well. When it’s all going great and we can smile about blessings and grace and forgiveness and Jesus…
…but when stuff hits the fan and life is a MESS…that’s when the Gospel can shout the loudest through us.
When we don’t just talk about grace but we cling to it with all we have.
When forgiveness is hard and makes NO SENSE, but we forgive because we have been forgiven (with a power not our own).
When we don’t just talk about Jesus but we CLING to Jesus with all of our might through things that were never supposed to happen to us…through the storms that will come.
What if we looked at each situation for what it is…an opportunity to SHOUT out the Gospel by the way we walk through it. By the way we cling to Jesus through it.
Check out what Paul says in Philippians 1:12-14…(he writes this as a prisoner)…
“Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel…
(Pause…can WE say that??? That our circumstances are helping to spread the Good News??? )
…so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brethren…
…trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear.”
Our circumstances are opportunities to live out the gospel. To strengthen our faith, and in turn strengthen the faith of those around us.
When we have peace and joy in hard situations…whether it’s an extreme circumstance such as walking through cancer or experiencing the death of a loved one, whether it’s dealing with a rebellious child or the loss of a job…or maybe just the overwhelming day to day life of being a mom…the day to day life of…LIFE…the constant struggles we face…
…we can choose joy over depression.
Peace over anxiety.
Hope over despair.
We can let flowers of faith, hope and trust grow in the cracks of our life.
It’s a paradox…it doesn’t make sense. “How can they grow there?” they’ll ask. “Where are their roots? ”
And that’s the question we want people to ask about us…how can they grow there?
Where are their roots that they could grow and bloom HERE?
How can they be “flowering” when their life is (or…seems like) a wasteland?
How can they be kind when that person was so rude?
How can they forgive when that person did ________ to them?
That’s when we shout it out…IT’S JESUS. It’s the joy that HE gives, not circumstancial happiness. It’s His strength IN US, not our own strength.
That’s when we shout out IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL…even here. Because He is here and HE is good.
Living out the Gospel in our circumstances gives others “…more courage to speak the word of God without fear.” (v. 14)
And that’s what it’s all about…our lives for the glory of God and the greater progress of the gospel.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you…
…you are precious in My sight…
…you are honored and I love you…
…Everyone who is called by My name,
And whom I have created for My glory,
Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.”
Father, You are good!! You are full of grace…more than enough grace. You are with us. You are faithful. You are the giver of peace, the giver of joy, the giver of strength when we have none. Thank You for the cracks…for the opportunities to give You glory and point to Jesus. Let us see them as opportunities!! It’s easy to be overwhelmed and look every way but Your way when they come. Help us to look to You and give us the courage to proclaim the Name of Jesus. In His Name, Amen!
“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”