“So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places,”
Are the trials that I go through witnessing to those around me? Paul had the unique ability to see his afflictions as a means of touching others for Christ. He knew that as he prevailed through every test, the power of the gospel was made real to more and more people, so that people not only knew that he relied totally on Christ, but that it was Christ who delivered him every time.
Our nature is more often to moan and groan when tests come our way. We do everything we can to get out of them, avoid them, disregard them and hope they will go away. We certainly do not look forward to tribulation. We see it as a hindrance to our spiritual growth and a lack of faith on our part. In fact, there are many who will come up to you in the midst of a trial and say you must not be close enough to God, or that you lack faith to come out of the trials.
We need to change our perspective. Do you think for a moment God would allow difficulties in our life that we cannot overcome with His help? I will tell you never! Do you think for a moment that more faith would keep you from the tests God has prepared for you? I tell you no way! Do you think your faith will grow faster if you did not have any tests? I will tell you not a chance!
It is time that we start embracing the cross God puts into our lives. Allow our bonds to be manifest in every situation, and let the world know that God is at work in our lives. And when He sees us through, give Him all the glory and praise. Then the world will see a true witness, and more will turn to Christ
Lord, I have been too quick to want to escape the trials in my life. Help me to embrace them, knowing that you have a purpose for every difficult situation that crosses my path. Help me not to shrink back in the face of criticism about my faith when trials arise, but help me stand and show that you alone provide my salvation.