Opposite Effect

I find it peculiar that when people, governments or organizations of power try to unjustly silence or put pressure on the innocent, we often find that instead of what they intended to happen, the exact opposite happens instead. When they tried to silence and ultimately killed Jesus, instead of stopping what he started, it sparked a fire across the world and throughout history. The same can be said about the death of Martin Luther King, stories from the persecuted church, and other social or religious injustices. When some try to stop a movement, their very efforts are somehow turned to benefit exactly what they were trying to stop. Paul experienced this himself. In Philippians chapter 1 verses 12 through 14 Paul says this:

"Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly."

So, I encourage you, if it seems as if someone or even spiritual forces are trying to stop what God has called you to do, remember Paul. By being put in prison, instead of stopping the spread of the gospel, God made the exact opposite take place. Paul explains that, “because of his chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly”. We are almost never allowed to see the entire picture. Our job is to be obedient and trust that God knows what he is doing, even in our darkest hour. And who knows, you may learn that God chose to use what was intended against you to have the exact opposite effect.


God has a way of turning what was meant for evil into something good. He’s done it several times throughout history, and it is recorded here in Philippians when he did it with Paul. If you look hard enough, you may find times in your own life where this is true. God is, and has always been, in control. So when you are suffering, especially if it is for Christ, rejoice because not only is there a reward for you in heaven for your suffering, but you can also take heart that it may very well be a part of God’s master plan.