Chains advancing the Gospel

Do you feel overwhelmed by despair and fear living in this challenging time? Like us today, the Apostle Paul was also impacted by his circumstances.  Many situations for Paul and for ourselves are beyond our control.  But how did he overcome this challenge, so he could live out God’s purpose for his life?  

We read in the Old Testament: “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,” (Deuteronomy 31:8).

God is faithful and promises never to leave us. So, let us ensure that our challenging situation does not steal away our hope, causing us to doubt God’s love for us. The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) may have stopped many parts of our lives, but it will not stop God’s message of love for all.

Through the grace of the Holy Spirit, you can access God’s joy and purpose for your life. Be encouraged as we live each day with purpose.

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5

Day 1

Advancing the Gospel

“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.” Philippians 1:12 NIV

Thought: In Philippians 1:12, the Philippians feared that the Apostle Paul’s imprisonment would silence the spread of the Gospel. Instead, Paul saw it as an opportunity. While imprisoned, Paul used his challenging situation to witness and share how God can overcome all obstacles. No matter what the obstacle might be, God can use it for his good.

While we may feel trapped in our situation of isolation and be experiencing fear, we can trust that our God is with us and he is in control. Like Paul, we too can ask God to use this difficult time to lead us in supporting each other and sharing God’s message of love for all.

Prayer: God, thank you for your faithfulness and for staying with us in this challenging time. May your peace be with us and help us to focus on your love so that I can testify to share the gospel. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 2

Turn your fear into faith

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” John 14:1 NIV

Thought: Jesus tells us, “Do not let your heart be troubled,” (John 14:1). By believing in God, you can access God’s peace. In Matthew 6:27, Jesus asked an interesting question about worrying: “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:27). Perhaps this can help us rethink our tendency to worry. David Egner, the author of Turning Fear into Faith, suggests that rather than allowing fear to consume us, we can put our worries to work for us.

The Apostle Paul did just that. Although he struggled with anxiety, he was fuelled by his love for God and God’s people and knew he could trust God and find peace in him. He didn’t let his anxiety weigh him down but chose to draw strength from God to spread the Gospel.

We too can take comfort in knowing that we can always turn our situation over to God in trust and confidence.

Prayer: Lord, help us to overcome our fears and worries in this challenging time. Please help us to find comfort and strength in you to turn our fear into faith. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Day 3

Pray continually

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18 NIV

Thought: In Ephesians 6:11-20, the Apostle Paul stresses the importance of continual prayer. He goes further to describe the Armour of God, which every Christian needs during their spiritual walk with God. God’s armour provides protection, discernment and confidence in his truth. Paul emphasised that God-given strength grows from deliberate immersion in the life-giving gift of prayer.

Praying continually might seem daunting to some, but how often do we connect with our family and friends on technology? God wants to hear about our concerns because He cares, whether they’re spoken boldly, sobbed silently or secured deep in a hurting heart. He’s always ready to make us strong in his power as he invites us to pray again, again and again.

As we live the life of prayer, it changes our perspective, relationships and day-to-day living. Your time in prayer is as vital as breathing.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for inviting us into a relationship with you, and letting us know that you care for us and long to hear from us continually. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 4

Standing with courage

“And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.” Philippians 1:14 NIV

Thought: After the conflicts in Philippi and Ephesus, the Apostle Paul received threats of imprisonment (Acts 20:23, 21:11) and death. He is taken into custody by the Roman government (Acts 23:10) and a suit is brought against him (Acts 24:1-9), which ultimately leads to his execution. Despite all these threats, Paul maintains extraordinary courage and continues to share the Gospel to the prison guard and inmates (Philippians 1:12-13).

As Christians, we should boldly proclaim the Gospel without shame because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). Paul’s life was all about Jesus and his mission. He credits the Holy Spirit for keeping him going in the face of such adversity. When we make the decision to honour Christ, he will help us to be bold and overcome our fears during opposition.

Prayer: God, please give us the courage to rise above fear and have the boldness to speak and live out our faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 5 

New way

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV

Thought: The prophet Isaiah spoke these words (Isaiah 43:18-19) to Israel during a time when they were living in captivity. Like the Israelites, the circumstances we are experiencing today can sometimes feel like we are in captivity. However, despite the challenging season in which we find ourselves, there is hope. The Bible says we need to let go of the old to make way for the new.

Despite adversity, the Apostle Paul didn’t focus on his unfortunate circumstances. Instead, he saw it as an opportunity for him to spread the Gospel. Paul testified how he had a new and wider audience, with whom he could share God’s Word while in prison (Philippians 1:12-14).

God is doing something new today in his Church and in his people. Churches around the world are finding creative ways to spread God’s Word. God has already set into motion a new direction and purpose for your life. Will you commit to his plan?

Prayer: Father, as we walk through life, help us to honour you in all we do. Help us to recognise and make the most of every opportunity we have to demonstrate your love and grace, and to encourage others to journey with us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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