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“But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice.” —Philippians 1:18


The apostle Paul was in prison. In prison! Did God make a mistake allowing this? How could He let this warrior of the cross be shut up like this? Just when he was doing so much good.

Have you ever felt like that? Just when things were going so well—wham! It all came to a screeching halt over some unfortunate circumstance.

And of course, when that happens, people start to talk. And to judge. Well, they say, God must be dealing in his life…she must be doing something terribly wrong…makes you wonder what’s really going on…

Satan is called “the accuser of the brethren” (Revelation 12:10) for a reason. He loves to stir up trouble among believers with innuendo, implied wrongdoing, gossip, and doubt about one another’s faith and character. He loves to cause fellow believers to lay guilt trips on each other.

Paul had his share of critics who loved to accuse him of all sorts of wrongdoing and ill motives.Some were jealous. Others just plain didn’t like him. Some grieved over his imprisonment. Others were just as glad he was out of the way for a while. But Paul had learned a secret about rising above such circumstances. He didn’t run from his despair or hardship. He didn’t live in denial. He lived in absolute faith that God knows what He’s doing.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

Paul knew his purpose: to preach the Gospel. No matter how it happened, in prison or out, through good motives or impure ones—he could rejoice.  God was fulfilling His purposes in Paul’s life.

That’s how I long to live—rejoicing in the midst of tears, laughter, pain, or joy —knowing that in it all, God’s love never fails.

Pastor Ray Bentley

Love God. Love People. Pastor Ray Bentley lived by those words. His love for the Lord and the people he served was demonstrated every day through his actions, leadership, ministry, teaching, sharing, and caring.

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