Tuesday afternoon I was discouraged. The person I was supposed to meet for a spiritual conversation didn't show up, I was already tired from a full day of work, and my evening job was going to start in a few minutes.
So I opened my Bible app and began reading in Philippians. Then I found a verse that made perfect sense of my own situation.
"Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has actually resulted in the advance of the gospel." Philippians 1:12
Paul is writing from prison. He wasn't in prison because he broke a law, but because he made people mad while sharing Jesus. He went on to talk about how his guards were hearing and then spreading the gospel, and how he realized that his difficulties had God's fingerprints on them.
Two years ago I worked every day at First Baptist and went home each night to my family. I did what Ephesians 4:12 says for pastors to do and I trained others to do the work of the ministry.Then I adjusted to part-time and began making ends meet by working several side-jobs.
Sometimes I am frustrated, and feel I'm wasting my time teaching 3rd graders how to sing in Loon Lake, or babysitting middle-schoolers in Deer Park while they do worksheets.
And then God reminds me:
"Caleb, that which has happened to you has actually resulted in the advance of the gospel. No, life isn't as simple or as scheduled as it was before the change, but the crisis you experienced deepened your dependence on Me - and you are doing the good works I planned for you."
So the question I have to ask myself: is the advance of the Gospel worth it? Really, is God worth it?
Sometimes I answer yes, sometimes no. But each day I grow just a little more sure that "yes" is right. That the God who made me alive instead of dead is worth knowing and pursuing and that His good works are worth the cost.
So once again I'm convinced that I glorify God by doing what I do as well as possible as I seek to do it strategically for His mission.
My question for you: where has God placed YOU for the advance of the Gospel? And what good works do you need to fully engage in so your time isn't wasted?