The way we perceive our situation often has a greater impact on our life than the situation itself. You’ve probably seen this for yourself in those who profess to know Christ. One Christian goes through debilitating medical treatments with such trust in God that contentment and joy overshadow the suffering, whereas another believer becomes anxious and resentful.
The setting for today’s passage is Paul’s house arrest. Although the apostle had committed no crime, he found himself unjustly locked up. But despite such dire and seemingly hopeless conditions, he knew he had nothing to lose. If Caesar decided to have him executed, he’d immediately be with Christ, and that was a much better option in Paul’s eyes. If, on the other hand, God allowed him to live, then he could continue a fruitful ministry for the kingdom. His conclusion was, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).
When we are saved by the blood of Christ, Paul’s statement is true for us as well. Our life is intricately bound up with our Savior, and we can never be separated from Him by any circumstance—not even death.
The word circumstance comes from two Latin roots meaning “around” and “to stand.” Therefore, our circumstances are those things that stand around us, but Christ is the person who dwells within us. Everything we face, He faces. Our difficult and painful situations are an invitation to let Christ shine though us. When He is our life, then no matter what happens, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain. So let’s fix our eyes on Jesus as He leads us through whatever lies ahead.