I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.
Paul was imprisoned, literally. He was actually in jail. But instead of fretting about his circumstances and resenting his captors, he describes himself as a prisoner of Christ. He accepted it joyfully because he understood that even this uncomfortable inconvenience was to God’s glory.
Surely it wasn’t his first impulse to praise God when the soldiers arrested him. At first glance, it seemed like this would be a very bad thing. How could he carry out his commission to preach the gospel when they carried him off to prison?
Have you ever thought you had a clear vision of exactly what you must do to serve God, and then something happened to completely derail that plan? Perhaps you lost funding or your life situation changed drastically, leaving no way to carry on with the work you planned. Sometimes we say that Satan is interfering with God’s work. Wouldn’t it have been easy for Paul to feel that way? But instead, he accepted his circumstances and found ways to continue preaching and teaching even while imprisoned. God used Paul’s time in prison in amazing ways, and He can use all the situations of your life to his glory, too. God has a master plan, and his purposes will not be disappointed.