Most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
The implication of today’s verse is that before Paul’s imprisonment, the church in Rome lacked courage. When the believers saw that God provided for Paul and enabled him to have an incredible opportunity for outreach, they confidently began to proclaim the gospel. They realized that since God could minister through Paul in his condition, He could minister through them as well. As Paul’s strength became theirs, the leadership in Rome began “to speak the word without fear” (v. 14).
Does your joy ebb and flow according to the tide of earthly benefits? Do pleasure, possessions, prominence, prestige, reputation, comfort, and fulfillment or your own ambitions propel your joy? If they do, your joy will ebb and flow according to the shifting tides of life. But if your joy is tied to the progress of the gospel, it will never diminish. Fix your heart on the progress of the gospel, and your joy will be constant.