When Paul wrote his letter to the Philippian church he was writing from prison. He had previously been in prison while in Philippi too. That’s when he and Silas were singing in the middle of the night and an earthquake freed them causing the salvation of the jailer and his family. That miracle really jump started the church which he was now writing to, probably from Rome.
His Philippian jail time had caused the advance of the gospel and now Paul claimed his current prison sentence was having the same result. He said; “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)
If it were me, I think I would like the first way better with the miracle and all. Now his prison time was long – no miracle way out. In fact, he discusses the fact that he’s not sure he will make it out alive this time. The amazing thing is that he doesn’t care. All he cares about is that “Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.”(Verse 18)
I can’t imagine being put in prison unjustly and languishing there for months in terrible conditions and thinking only about how the gospel was doing. But Paul did. He had his priorities straight where mine are often all scrambled up in ME.
What would happen if I switched to Paul’s priority system? Would I end up in prison some day? Maybe, but then I wouldn’t care. I’d be thinking about that end result.