I am in chains because of Christ.

And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear. -Philippians 1:12-14 NLT

The most amazing aspect of this epistle is that Paul writes it from a prison in Rome. Of the one hundred and four verses in it he mentions joy sixteen times. Some of the most inspirational ideas are contained here. In chapter two Paul speaks of how Christ humbled himself as an example for us. In the third chapter he speaks of pressing on. In the fourth chapter he says that he can do all things though Christ. So inspiring when we consider the jail he wrote from.

Paul's chains move me - they cause me to want to follow him as he followed Christ. Could it be possible that those who suffer can be like Paul? Perhaps the invisible chains that we each bear are an opportunity for us to inspire others as we joyfully persevere? Maybe the image of Paul joyfully writing this letter from jail is meant to give hope to those who suffer? I think that we can each be an epistle to the world that testifies that all things are possible through Christ.

Help us Lord to rejoice each day and in every situation. Cause us to be your epistles to the world.

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