But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which have happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel.
There are two ways to look at every situation: How it will affect you, and how it will affect God’s kingdom. The apostle Paul was always concerned with how his circumstances might aid the spreading of the gospel. When he was unjustly imprisoned, he immediately looked to see how his imprisonment might provide God’s salvation to others (Phil. 1:13; Acts 16:19–34). When he was assailed by an angry mob, he used the opportunity to preach the gospel (Acts 22:1–21). When Paul’s criminal proceedings took him before the king, his thoughts were on sharing his faith with the king (Acts 26:1–32)!
Even when Paul was shipwrecked on an island, he used that opportunity to share the gospel there. Regardless of his circumstance, Paul’s concern was how he could use his current situation to tell others of God’s good news of salvation. Often when we encounter a new situation, our first thoughts are not about God’s kingdom. When we face a crisis, we can become angry or fearful for our own well-being, rather than looking to see what God intends to do through our circumstances. If we remain self-centered we will miss so much of what God could do through our experiences, both for us and for those around us. Ask God to make you aware of how He could use your present circumstances to bless others. Perhaps someone around you needs to see the difference Christ’s presence makes in your life. Are you willing for God to use your circumstances to demonstrate His saving power to those around you?