Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 165 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Philippians 1 today and our focus is on Can the Bad Things That Happen to Us Actually Have Good Long Term Results? We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
Great chapter to read today, and one of my favorite books in the Bible. As a reminder, as I speak this, the date is June 1, 2021, and I’m recording a batch of episodes to release while my family and I travel to our hometown of Birmingham, Alabama for a couple of weeks. Because of that, this might be a shorter podcast than normal, but it should be short and sweet because Philippians 1 is so awesome.
In this passage, we find Paul unjustly in jail. Here is a guy that is wholeheartedly following God and living a life of passionate obedience, and yet, over and over again he keeps finding himself in deep trouble. In 2nd Corinthians 11, Paul lists out all of the hardships he has faced as an apostle. Listen to the litany of troubles Paul has had in his life:
24 Five times I received the forty lashes minus one from the Jews. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning. Three times I was shipwrecked. I have spent a night and a day in the open sea. 26 On frequent journeys, I faced dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own people, dangers from Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea, and dangers among false brothers; 27 toil and hardship, many sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, often without food, cold, and without clothing. 28 Not to mention other things, there is the daily pressure on me: my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? 2nd Corinthians 11:24-29
This is only a partial list too, and reading it relieves us of the incorrect notion that good people don’t have bad things happen to them. Let’s read our passage, and consider the good that comes out of Paul’s being in jail. (We have the letter to the Philippians from that jail stint, for one!)
Here’s Spurgeon, who beautifully discusses how bad things that happen to us can often result in an overall good:
Notice the beautiful self-forgetfulness of the apostle Paul. So long as the gospel could be more widely published, he did not mind where he was, or what he suffered. He was able to witness for Christ among the Prætorian guards, who had the charge of the prison where he was confined, and who also, in their turn, were on duty in Cæsar’s palace; so Paul says that, through his being in bonds there, the particulars concerning his imprisonment were talked about even in the imperial palace, and by that means the gospel was made known to many in Cæsar’s household. Then, in addition, other brethren, who might perhaps have felt compelled to be quiet in his presence, finding that their leader was removed from them, waxed confident to come out and “speak the word without fear.” The same sort of thing has often happened since. You have sometimes seen a widely-spreading oak tree cut down, and you have missed its grateful shadow; yet, afterwards, you have discovered that many little trees, which would have been dwarfed beneath its shade, have grown more rapidly in its absence; and, in like manner, the removal of some eminent servant of the Lord Jesus Christ has frequently made room for others to spring up, and more than fill his place.
C. H. Spurgeon, “Christ’s Poverty, Our Riches,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 47 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1901), 106–107.
Bible Memory verses for the month of June: Daniel 6:23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to take Daniel out of the den. When Daniel was brought up from the den, he was found to be unharmed, for he trusted in his God.
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