Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, 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. Philippians 1:12-14
The venerable late Dallas seminary professor Howard Hendricks would respond to the comment “I’m fine under the circumstances,” with “what are you doing under there for?” For Paul, his circumstances–imprisonment–were nothing but “blue sky” for the gospel. In fact, the Apostle eagerly expected something good and productive to come from his trials (Phil. 1:20).
My wife is fond of describing our petty irritations as “first world problems.” She’s right. Paul was effectively impacting all of Rome as he fed the gospel, in a way, intravenously to his captors. His newsletter back to the Philippians bubbled over with giddiness for how things were going. What’s robbing our joy?