We have looked at the first reason why it does not matter to the apostle Paul that he is in prison. He tells us that he has a new audience for preaching the Gospel that he could only have because of his location in jail.
The second reason why it does not matter in a negative manner—that he is imprisoned—is because believers in Rome see that the apostle is unafraid of the authorities.
So the threat of arrest for witnessing concerning the Gospel should not deter anyone from obeying the Lord. The believers became courageous by seeing the courage of Paul in action.
This matter of blessing others through our suffering is very important in biblical teaching. In fact, it is the heart of the Gospel—because through the suffering of Christ we receive eternal life through faith in His sacrifice.
We should never waste our suffering but use it to the benefit of the church at large. Paul speaks of this in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV,
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles,
so that we can comfort those in any trouble
with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
People who suffer can bless others in the same situation by telling them how the Lord helped them in their time of trouble. They can point out the Scriptures that gave them comfort.
They can do for the person in pain the deeds of mercy kind people did for them in their distress. So much can be learned in the crucible of affliction, and that valuable information ought to be passed on to others for their blessing.
Pray about what truly matters in your life. Ask the Lord how you might help someone else because of your similar but negative experiences in life.
Your reception of grace in times of trial should overflow to the benefit of those around you. Perhaps you have never thought of bringing grace to others this way.
Pray for light on how to be a blessing and the Lord will surely enlighten you. Our gracious God waits for you to be His channel of blessing today so rise up and bless your neighbour right now.