by Rick Warren — February 7, 2024
From Rethinking Your Life
“I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News.”
Philippians 1:12 (NLT)
Your witness to the world will come out of your weaknesses, not your strengths.
A lot of people have it backwards: They think the world is impressed by Christians’ prosperity. That doesn’t impress the world. They see that everywhere! What impresses non-believers is how believers handle adversity, not prosperity.
Your suffering, not your success, gives you credibility. Your faithfulness, not your fame, earns respect.
The apostle Paul was a pro at using his pain as a witness. He wrote from a prison dungeon in Rome, “I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News” (Philippians 1:12 NLT).
Paul used his pain to model the message God had given him. While he was chained in prison, he wrote letters to the church that became part of the New Testament.
Paul said, “In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God” (2 Corinthians 6:4 NLT). That includes how you handle pain, failure, defeat, problems, mistakes, sin, and all of the bad things that happen in your life.
It doesn’t take God’s power to handle good; anybody can handle good. It takes God’s power to patiently endure.
The world doesn’t have a good answer for how to endure. But followers of Christ patiently endure suffering, hardship, and trouble of every kind as it’s a way to bear witness to the Good News of Jesus.
Your deepest ministry will come out of your deepest hurt—and your deepest life message will come out of your deepest pain.
In every area of your life where you’ve had pain, you have a testimony. How will you use it to help bring others from despair to fullness of life in Christ?