Philippians 1: 12 – 26.
As Paul was imprisoned in Rome, it is very likely that he was chained twenty-four hours per day to a Roman guard, each guard on a shift lasting several hours. He could enjoy no privacy as long as these circumstances endured. How could he possibly give thanks in the midst of such difficulty? We will never understand this until we understand how Paul loved the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was a gospel-centred and gospel-impassioned man. We have heard of people looking through rose-colored glasses. Paul wore Christ-coloured glasses. He could write: ‘For to me, to live is Christ …’ (v. 21).
Wearing his Christ-coloured glasses, the apostle tells the Philippians why he was rejoicing over his imprisonment: ‘… the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel …’ (v. 12). His words demand that we take a long and hard look at ourselves. What does the gospel mean to us? Does it mean enough that we are willing to suffer hardship in order for it to prosper? Or do we put our own comfort and ease above the gospel?
As we look at Paul’s rejoicing over his imprisonment, we see him giving emphasis to two major themes: the good that he could see and the good that he expected to see.
Ellsworth, R. (2004). Opening up Philippians (pp. 23–24). Leominster: Day One Publications.