Philippians 1:12–14 ‘Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.’ (v12)

Psychologists talk of the importance of reframing. This has various guises but includes the taking of a situation that may appear to be negative and ‘reframing’ it so that we see the positives. The truth remains, but we see it in a better light. The Christian is ideally reframing life all the time.

We choose to see whatever circumstances we are facing in the light of God and the good news of the gospel. Daily reflection on the Bible helps towards this of course. This is what Paul is doing as he is in a cold unpleasant Roman prison chained to a Roman guard and has every reason to feel sorry for himself.

He delights that he uses the opportunity of the captive audience (forgive the pun) to share the good news of Jesus, and this is evidently an encouragement to others to share the news as well (v14). Such reframing doesn’t ignore the bad stuff nor pretend that we aren’t struggling.

We feel what we feel, regardless of whether it seems ‘reasonable’ or not. We can be real with God and with others. But it does mean reminding ourselves of the great truths of Scripture that can put our struggles into context, and this encourages us to see that our tough times will not be wasted as we seek to be faithful day by day.


A Prayer To Make:
‘Thank You for a risen Jesus who is involved daily in our lives and able and willing to enable all things to work for good as we trust him. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
Select something that is tough right now and ask God to show you how you can see it in a different light.

Scripture To Consider:
Ps. 1; Prov. 3:5–6; Rom. 12:1–4; 2 Cor. 10:3–5

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.