This expression is most interesting. Paul did not see himself as a prisoner of the Roman emperor. He accepted the things that happened to him as coming from the hand of God. He was not a prisoner of Rome nor was he a prisoner of circumstances. He could easily have had a “pity-party” and pined in the prison. Instead he praised, preached, and prospered spiritually.
What was the secret of his triumph over trying circumstances? It was by grace of acceptance. The other apostles could have learned this grace of acceptance from the Lord Jesus when He said, “Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight” (Luke 10:21). The Dependent Man accepted the dealings of the Father.
Paul showed that he had personally learned this grace of acceptance when he said to the Philippian saints, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am … to be content” (Phil 4:11). Do you feel imprisoned by circumstances? Cod is far above all circumstances. Remember that God always has His purposes in the prison, or in whatever trial we ever experience.