Brothers and sisters, here is what I want you to know. What has happened to me has really helped to spread the good news.
One thing has become clear. I am being held by chains because of my stand for Christ. All of the palace guards and everyone else know it.
Because I am being held by chains, most of the believers in the Lord have become bolder. They now speak God's word more boldly and without fear.
It's true that some preach about Christ because they are jealous. But others preach about Christ to help me in my work.
The last group acts out of love. They know I have been put here to stand up for the good news.
But the others preach about Christ only to get ahead. They are not honest and true. They think they can stir up trouble for me while I am being held by chains.
But what does it matter? Here is the important thing. Whether for reasons that are right or wrong, Christ is being preached about. That makes me very glad. And I will continue to be glad.
I know that you are praying for me. I also know that the Spirit of Jesus Christ will help me. So no matter what happens, I'm sure I will still be saved.
I completely expect and hope that I won't be ashamed in any way. I'm sure I will be brave enough. Now as always Christ will be lifted high through my body. He will be lifted up whether I live or die.
For me, life finds all of its meaning in Christ. Death also has its benefits.
Suppose I go on living in my body. Then I will be able to carry on my work. It will bear a lot of fruit. But what should I choose? I don't know.
I can't decide between the two. I long to leave this world and be with Christ. That is better by far.
But it is more important for you that I stay alive.
I'm sure of that. So I know I will remain with you. And I will continue with all of you to help you grow and be joyful in what you have been taught.
I'm sure I will be with you again. Then your joy in Christ Jesus will be greater than ever because of me.
No matter what happens, live in a way that brings honor to the good news about Christ. Then I will know that you stand firm with one purpose. I may come and see you or only hear about you. But I will know that you work together as one person. And I will know that you work to spread the teachings of the good news.
So don't be afraid in any way of those who oppose you. That will show them that they will be destroyed and that you will be saved. That's what God will do.
Here is what he has given you to do for Christ. You must not only believe in him. You must also suffer for him.
You are going through the same struggle you saw me go through. As you have heard, I am still struggling.