Rather than complaining about what he has endured, Paul points to the Lord’s purpose for all that he had gone through — the furtherance of the gospel. He could have whined about a huge list of his trials and tribulations over the years. But instead Paul finds joy in the fact that through it all, God used this as an opportunity to preach the gospel.
Paul was there, chained in prison, for Christ’s sake. His chains are what opened the door to speak to people who would not otherwise have given him the time of day. He was chained to a Roman solider 24/7 and every six hours when the guard was changed, he had a new “captive” audience.
And the guards weren’t the only ones being ministered to. “Most of my brothers in the Lord have become confident because of my chains, boldly speaking without fear.” Enthusiasm begets enthusiasm, zeal inspires zeal, and Paul’s focus to serve Jesus inspired the church to “speak without fear.” Which would motivate you more, a leader who said, “Forward! Go get ’em guys!” or one who stepped out and said, “Follow me!?” Paul was a “follow me!” leader.
Pastor Doug Hardin