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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Seeing God’s Bigger Picture

In review of Philippians 1:12 it says, “I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News” (NLT).

Air travel, email, and other technologies have made worldwide separation much easier, however pioneering with the Good News still requires a high sacrifice. Paul's passion was for others to discover the Good News of eternal life through Jesus Christ, no matter what the cost would be. Pressing through frontiers of spiritual darkness still requires pioneers today, people who will reach neglected people or new people groups. I should pray for missionaries, support and join them. Being imprisoned would caused many to become bitter or give up, but Paul saw it as one more opportunity to spread the Good News of Christ. Paul realized that his current circumstances weren't as important as what he did with them. Turning a bad situation into a good one, he reached out to the Roman soldiers who made up the palace guard and encouraged those Christians who were afraid of persecution. I may not be in prison, but I have plenty of opportunities to be discouraged in my life. How I act in such situations will reflect what I believe. Like Paul, I should look for ways to demonstrate my faith even in bad situations. Whether or not the situation improves, my faith will grow stronger.

No matter what’s going on in my life, the good, bad, or ugly, God is working out a plan. Ever since becoming a Christian on the road to Damascus, Paul had dreamed one great dream: He wanted to preach in Rome, the center of the universe at the time. His dream was to preach the Gospel in the most important city in the world. But God had another idea. Instead of sending Paul to Rome to preach crusades, God made him a royal prisoner of Nero, who was Caesar at that time. Nero was about as wicked and as bad as you can get.

Paul was chained to a royal guard 24 hours a day for two years, and the guard was changed every four hours. Over two years in prison, he had 4,380 opportunities to witness to countless guards. Who’s the real prisoner here? Who had the captive audience? This wasn’t Paul’s plan, but it was God’s all along, and it produced two results that we know for sure.

First of all, Philippians 4 says that within two years, some of Nero’s own household had become believers because of Paul’s witness in the royal court in Rome.

Secondly, it’s kind of hard to get a guy like Paul to stop moving. In prison, he was forced to be still, and as a result, he wrote parts of the New Testament. I wonder which had a bigger impact: his preaching in the Colosseum or the books he wrote that have revealed Jesus to untold numbers of people over the years.

Paul acknowledged that God had a bigger plan, and he could be happy because he saw what God was doing through his problem.

Anytime I have a problem that’s starting to get me down, I need to do what Paul did: Learn to see it from God’s point of view. Ask, “What is God doing here? What’s the bigger picture? What’s the bigger perspective?” Then I’ll be able to face the problem in faith.

In summary, realize that everything that happens to me can help spread the Good News. Pioneering with the Good News requires a high sacrifice. Paul had a passion for others to discover the Good News of eternal life through Jesus, no matter what the cost would be. While I may not be out in the world being a missionary, I can pray and support them. Like Paul, I need to realize that my current circumstances aren't as important as what I do with them. I can turn a bad situation into a good one. While I have plenty of opportunities to be discouraged, how I act in these situations will reflect what I believe. I should look for ways to demonstrate my faith even in bad situations Then whether or not my situation improves, my faith will grow stronger. No matter what's going on in my life, God is working out a plan. Anytime I have a problem that's starting to get me down, I need to do what Paul did: learn to see it from God's point of view (What is he doing here? What's the bigger picture? What's the bigger perspective?). If I do, then I'll be able to face the problem in faith.

Late yesterday, I find myself in a unique situation where the highest levels of leadership want to review my team and work tasks associated with them. Instead of being apprehensive, I can look at this as a blessing to help me with the organization and prioritization of the workload myself and my team needs. I’m already choosing to see this as a bigger picture area. I’ll just need to trust God with the outcome.

This morning Father I thank you for additional perspective on a recent development. I pray that you will help me with this perspective. I also ask for your wisdom and guidance for my day, my work, my leadership and my interactions with others. I pray this through your Son Jesus name, Amen.

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