The Apostle Paul had an incredible and envious outlook on life, the universe, and everything. While many of us say that spreading the gospel is the most important thing in life, Paul actually believed it. And the difference is not in how loud, or often, or scholastically we say it, but in how we live it.
Phil. 1 is a schooling on seeing the world through God’s eyes and putting Him first. Paul begins with his famous statement that though he’s in chains, that is a good thing because it is advancing the gospel. How many of us can truly say that our sickness is a good thing because it gives us access to the hospital staff for our witnessing? How many can say that losing our job was a blessing because it has allowed us to speak to many different people we would otherwise have missed? Paul calms the fears and worries of his hearers by saying that his imprisonment actually gives him an opening to witness.
His next paragraph addresses those who are preaching the gospel. Some are doing it honestly, but some, Paul’s friends say, are doing it selfishly and therefore shouldn’t be doing it at all. But, Paul says, the important thing is that the gospel is preached. Will they reap the rewards God promises for the faithful? Maybe not, but those who hear the gospel from un-credible sources are still hearing the gospel.
Paul finishes this statement with the ultimate sign of faith. Even his death, Paul says, can be a blessing from God. “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
What would it take for us to see the world through these eyes? How can we help ourselves right now to see everything that happens as part of God’s plan, as a tool for our evangelism, and as a blessing in disguise? As the song says, “What if God’s blessings come through raindrops?” Not just a glass-half-full trickery, but a genuine trust that all that happens is God’s plan and can be used to further the Kingdom.