"Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel... For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."
(Philippians 1:12, 21)
Many of us are familiar with the story of Chuck Colson, once a trusted special counsel to President Nixon who, because of his involvement with the Watergate scandal, went to prison. It was in prison that Jesus found him and released him from the chains of sin and self to serve Him as a minister of the Gospel. Colson’s ministry of Prison Fellowship began. His career in politics was dead, but he became very alive in Christ!
Paul was also going in the other direction when he met Jesus, but instead of being in prison, he was imprisoning Christians. What a different Paul we see writing to the church in Philippi! By then a prisoner himself, Paul rejoiced in his situation, enabled by God’s grace to do so. The ONLY thing that mattered to Paul was that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was being advanced. In living, Paul was dead to his own self-interest, but he was very alive in Christ – more alive than he ever was as a zealous, self-righteous Pharisee! And his future was even more secure in death, where he would find life with Christ in His glory!
When you think your life is over, consider how Jesus may be drawing you into his life, a life which is only just beginning!