Tag: Chained

A wonderful example of faith in adversity

David Wilkersonby David Wilkerson

When Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians, he was being held in a Roman prison, his feet chained to a soldier on either side. The conditions were horrible and Paul suffered great indignities, with no time alone and no freedoms.

Think about it. Here was a man who had been very active, traveling the open road and high seas to meet and fellowship with God’s people. Paul drew his greatest joy from visiting the churches he had established throughout that region of the world. But now he was chained down, literally bound to the hardest, most profane men alive.

Some of the Christians who knew Paul began to murmur that he was bringing disgrace on the gospel because of his situation. But Paul was intent on finding God’s purpose for allowing him to come to this point. Instead of asking, “Why did this happen to me?” he decided to discover what his reaction should be. This servant of God made up his mind: “I can’t change where I am but I know my steps are ordered by the Lord. Therefore, I’m going to magnify Christ and be a testimony while I’m in these chains.”

“Now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death” (Philippians 1:20). Paul was in no way resigned or indifferent to his circumstances but he was determined that God’s Word would be validated by his reaction to his affliction. “Knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel … Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice” (1:17-18).

Paul’s attitude is a wonderful demonstration of how we should react to adverse circumstances. It is possible to waste all our tomorrows anxiously waiting to be delivered out of our suffering, but if that becomes our focus, we will miss the miracle and joy of being emancipated in our trial. Paul’s word to the Philippians was, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (4:4). And I say to you, “Rejoice in the Lord always!”

by David Wilkerson

Don’t let your circumstances dictate you!

George Whittenby George Whitten

Ephesians 6:19-20 and pray for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

For over 18 years we’ve been covering Christian Persecution, and whenever I come across an amazing story of how a saint endured such hardships, it encourages me. I remember reading about Watchman Nee and his imprisonment. The Chinese government would change the guards at his cell daily for fear that Nee would lead them to the Lord. Their fears were justified — many of those guards did come to faith! Apparently Watchman Nee had learned a powerful lesson from the Apostle Paul.

In Paul’s letter to the Church in Ephesus, observe how he describes himself — an ambassador in chains. Locked away in a prison, Paul adamantly refuses to allow his circumstances to dictate or alter his identity. He may be in chains, but he remains the Lord’s ambassador.

Can you imagine Paul chained up in that dungeon, throwing up his hands saying, “That’s it; it’s over; I’m finished!?

Not on your life! Instead, the apostle grows bolder as an ambassador; not intimidated or ashamed, because Paul isn’t chained in his Spirit, he’s only bound in the flesh. Remember how he concludes his letter to the Philippian Church declaring, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Don’t allow yourself to be defined by your past, or “chained” by your current circumstances. God has also called you to be an ambassador for Him. With so much work to be done, we ought to be growing even bolder, right in the midst of our trials and tribulations!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love

by George Whitten