I fell behind in our study this week. Life happens I suppose, but even as I acknowledge that I see how that very fact testifies to God’s grace, to God’s plan.
Paul is arrested, shuffled from place to place, and his life is being hunted. Strangely enough his very captivity is the only thing seemingly keeping him from being killed.
Sometimes life happens and it all feels so out of control, sickness happens, death happens, financial crisis happens. It can feel in those moments like we are alone in a storm and no hope is available.
But that feeling is so very wrong.
Because if we really do begin with prayer, if we continue to trust in obedience, if we actively find joy in His every answer, and realize that we are all called, we will eventually realize that we were always in His plan!
Bad things happen, so often people look at horrible circumstance and question a good God. But He IS a good God!
Paul is arrested, his life is in jeopardy, but if none of this had happened then something else would never have happened, because Paul is arrested and pleading his case before the court of Rome, he has an opportunity to share his testimony before leaders of cities, states, even the known world!
The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.” Acts 23:11
His trial was God’s opportunity.
Because here is the thing, life happens and it sucks, but if we are able to just keep our eyes on Christ, He can use those circumstances to bring greater fruit in our lives than we could have ever had otherwise.
Every trial we face is merely an opportunity for God to show His abundant grace.
It’s true! Think back over your life, think to your darkest moments, and look at how those moments may have been used to refine you, to strengthen you, to give you a testimony that would reach farther and higher than you could ever dream.
Pauls whole life was written for this moment of testimony. A man so against Christ he was hunting His saints, transformed into a mouthpiece that brought the gospel so far. A man whose testimony was so powerful that the religious elite feared him to the point of persecution. A man whose persecution led him to share that same testimony before the very leaders of Rome.
Do we think about our lives like that? Written for purpose? Written for God’s plan?
Your life lands you in a doctors waiting room, a perfect place to reach out and extend hope to those around you. Your life lands you in an office full of difficult people who don’t know Christ, a perfect place to show lost souls His grace. Your life lands you in front of a judge and a court room, a perfect place to testify of what you believe, not to fight for your life, but to fight for their souls.
It is a powerful thing to understand. Your life holds purpose, holds value, and He has a plan, we just have to open our eyes to God’s plan.
I pray each of us learns day by day to open our eyes to His plan operating in our lives. Look at the world not with our own eyes, but His.
Joy Aletheia Stevens
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