The apostle Paul had every reason to withdraw from ministry. Though he was deeply-loved by most of those with whom he worked, he was disliked and even hated by some other Christians, the Philippian surrounding community, and even some of Rome. He was now a prisoner in Rome, chained every day to a Roman guard. It would not seem like “making excuses” for him to withdraw or grow quiet, but Paul doesn’t do that. He seeks for every opportunity through the persecution he is facing, and he is amazingly effective as he taught visitors, shared with his captors, and wrote to the many churches he had planted. We will explore what he meant when he said, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

If you’re going through rough times, sometimes those experiences bring out our determination to be used of God. I hope this message will make that thought come alive for you.