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By Divine Design

greg laurie
Evangelist and pastor Greg Laurie preaches at the SoCal Harvest event at Angel Stadium Friday, August 23, 2013, in Anaheim, Calif. |

But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel.
— Philippians 1:12

The apostle Paul was the kind of guy who liked to get out and get things done. He took action and went out and accomplished things for God. But as a prisoner in Rome, Paul found himself stuck . . . immobilized . . . unable to move.

Perhaps you are immobilized in some way right now. Maybe it is some kind of disability. Maybe you're stuck in a really tough marriage or in a job you really don't want to be in. Maybe you're living somewhere you wish you didn't live. Whatever it is, you feel immobilized.

Yet notice how Paul, despite his circumstances, was able to rejoice. He wrote, "But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel" (Philippians 1:12). Even under house arrest, Paul was looking on the bright side. He was saying, "I believe I am here because God wants me here. But this isn't what I planned."

And then Paul went on to talk about the guards: "It has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ" (verse 13). These weren't just any guards; they were members of the Praetorian Guard, the elite soldiers.

How could you not become a Christian while being chained to the Apostle Paul? Apparently some of the guards did come to Christ, because later in Philippians Paul wrote, "All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar's household" (4:22).

This is never what Paul planned, but it is what God planned. Maybe you're in a place right now that you never planned on. You are there by divine design. God has put you where you are for such a time as this.

Copyright © 2015 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000 Used with Permission

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