In Philippians 1:12-18, Paul takes our mindset off our fleshly, earthly circumstances and places our focus on the spiritual and eternal.
When difficult times enter into our personal lives or into the lives of those we know, our flesh automatically wants to begin thinking about failure. Paul writes this section to assure the Philippians that, although he was in bondage, God’s work had not been hindered. There is no such thing as failure when a person is truly serving the Lord.
Paul wanted them to know that his imprisonment had helped to further the gospel rather than hinder it (vs. 12). The KJV words “fallen out” highlight that what should be bad has turned out for good instead. Paul certainly recognized that God works all things for good according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Though Paul was prevented from traveling, establishing churches, evangelizing and teaching the crowds, the Lord’s work was not stopped.
One of the reasons to rejoice is that people knew Paul was in prison and were curious. Word was spreading and, as it did, the message was going forth, and the guards assigned to Paul heard the Gospel and passed it on to others (sincerely or insincerely).
In addition, other believers had gained confidence through Paul’s bondage and were standing up to procl ...