Transformational Circumstances!

By: Rev. J. Loren Russell

Philippians1:12-14 NLT
“And 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. For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear.”

‭‭The Lord has a way of transforming the most negative and challenging situations in our life into the most significant and beneficial situations of our life. He can transform the most destructive circumstance into the most productive.
The apostle Paul found himself imprisoned and awaiting a court date. Although he was innocent of any wrongdoing, he was subjected to a convicted criminal’s existence. In shifts, he was chained twenty-four hours a day between two of the prestigious Preatorian Guard, Roman soldiers usually assigned to the imperial palace. In this precarious situation, Paul takes time to write this epistle (letter) to the church in Philippi. I am sure they were deeply troubled to know that the founder of their church, and leader of those who were followers of “the way,” was in jail. Perhaps they thought that the sharing of the Gospel was going to come to an unexpected end. But what seemed like an insurmountable obstacle became a steppingstone for the spread of the gospel.

Despite his situation, when Paul wrote this epistle, he was encouraging. He told them that his imprisonment was a transformational circumstance, that everything that happened to him has helped to spread the Good News, which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It reminds me of what Joseph told his brothers in Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people” (NLT).

This week, I have had conversations with several people who are facing seemingly insurmountable physical illnesses, work challenges, family crisis’s, and overwhelming financial issues. Like Paul, I believe the Lord is taking them through their experiences because there are people in the places they will go who need to be encouraged by the word of God…, and they are the only ones who can get through to them. Paul saw his situation as transformational circumstances; those who were chained to him were his captive audience, the courts he stood before were transformed into unsuspecting congregations, and those who mocked his ministry became spokespersons for the Gospel.

If you are going through overwhelming situations and/or circumstances, let me remind you that neither the situation nor circumstance are unconquerable obstacles. The insurmountable barriers are created by the way we envision and see them. I encourage you to follow Paul’s example and change the way you perceive it, then call it what it is, transformational circumstances!

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at Goodwill Baptist Church and is the spiritual leader of the Evangelical Church of God, both in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company/J Loren R Consulting, LLC for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting (718-328-8096) and is the producer and host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Monday nights from 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook Live. Be sure to ‘Friend’ the Matters of Faith YouTube Channel. Email us at Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The eBook at

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