Your Daily Dose: Lemons to Lemonade
Philippians 1: 12-14
Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.
Most of us try desperately to avoid trouble. I don’t think the Apostle Paul was a glutton for punishment, but trouble seemed to follow him around! His list of tribulations in 2 Cor. 11 reads like a compilation of television reality/survivor shows: shipwrecks, lost at sea, beatings, robberies, etc. Interestingly, no matter what kind of trouble came his way, the Lord always seemed to turn lemons into lemonade!
Notice in this passage that Paul’s focus was never on him or his trials, but on the benefit to the people around him, be them believers or unbelievers. The Gospel was being advanced, even among the Roman guards, and his fellow Christians were being encouraged to “dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.” That is a great example of what God can do with one man, filled with the Holy Spirit, and unafraid to face whatever the world throws at him.
Please remember that as a follower of Christ you have been drafted into the service of the King as an Ambassador, Town Crier and Soldier…but He never forces you to play any of those roles. The decision to engage is wholly yours…but the results of those efforts are entirely up to God. Yes, you need to be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within you (1 Peter 3:15), but the power to do so comes from on High.
The world is going to throw you all sorts of lemons…but the power of God, manifested in our obedience and boldness, you will turn every one of them into the sweetest lemonade you have ever tasted!