Prayer requests or Praises?

Philippians 1:12  ‘Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.’

As we all reflect on 2017, I can’t help but look back on the past year with joy.  Now, don’t get me wrong, 2017 has been one of the hardest for me, both professionally and personally, as I am sure it was for many of you.  The challenges brought pain and, I felt the pain to my core.  Maybe some of you felt that same kind of pain?

Just maybe, though, through that pain, God allowed us to grow to advance His purpose.  To change how we parent.  To allow a breakthrough in our life.  To change jobs.  To see your child achieve a new milestone.

What has happened has really served to advance the vision that God placed in us for this Foundation.  We look back with joy, acknowledging the pain, and are glad that it happened.  Glad because we saw the smiles, heard the laughter and shared the release of breath from you as you caught the vision in your hearts as well.

2018…

At the time Paul pens this verse in Philipians, he is sitting in a jail in Rome. In the dark, in chains, and alone.   Can you hear the gossip?  “What happened to Paul?  You know, he probably pushed a bit too hard.”  “If he had just kept quiet, he probably would not be in jail right now.  Yeah, that Paul.”  “He was on to something great and then went a bit too far and pushed Rome, he should have appealed to Ceasar.”

Paul is in chains, in the dark and look at the grammar he chooses.  He says that what HAS HAPPENED to him REALLY SERVED to ADVANCE the gospel.  

He is like, look, I am still preaching and planting.  Each time I open my mouth, the guards hear about Christ. Don’t discount what has happened and put it in the prayer requests, this is a praise.  In fact, he does not know what is a praise or a prayer request anymore, they are ALL to advance the Kingdom of God. That is amazing personal growth.

2018…

What will this year bring?  It will bring challenges, growth, pain and joy.  I will bring the growth from 2017 into 2018 and know in my heart that what has happened to me has really served to advance the Kingdom.  Will you?