What Is God’s Design?

But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel.
— Philippians 1:12

I was bedridden, in a wheelchair, on crutches and finally a cane for over a year and Philippians 1:12 was my verse. I never once felt sorry for myself because I knew God had a plan and my disability was a part of it. I never thought I would walk again without some kind of assistance. But today I walk without any help from a walking aid. I will always have some pain but praise God anyway!

When you read the book of Acts and follow the Apostle Paul in his journeys, you see a man who was the kind of guy who liked to get out and get things done. Paul acted and went out and accomplished things for God. But as a prisoner in Rome, Paul found himself stuck, immobilized and unable to move. Paul didn’t get down in the dumps because of his situation and neither should we.

I may be speaking to someone this morning who is immobilized in some way. Maybe it is some kind of disability. Maybe you're stuck in a tough marriage or in a job you really don't want to be in. Maybe you're living somewhere you wish you didn't live. Whatever it is, you feel immobilized.

But notice how Paul, despite his circumstances, was able to rejoice. He wanted the Christians at Philippi to know that the things which happened to him had turned out for the furtherance of the gospel. Even under house arrest, Paul was looking on the bright side. He was saying, "I believe I am here because God wants me here. But this isn't what I planned."

And then Paul went on to talk about the guards: "It has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ" (verse 13). These weren't just any guards; they were members of the Praetorian Guard, the elite soldiers.

Can you imagine being chained to Paul? How could you not become a Christian while being chained to him? Apparently, some of the guards did get saved, because later in Philippians Paul wrote, "All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar's household" (4:22)

 This is never what Paul planned, but it is what God planned. Maybe you're in a place right now that you never planned on. You are there by divine design. God has put you where you are for such a time as this. God Bless!