Thursday, July 14, 2011

Making Good Out of It

Scripture--Acts 22-24

Observation--I found myself wondering what would have happened if Paul would not have been put in prison.  He was in prisoned for a long time--years.  Its almost as if the Romans forgot him!  It was when he was imprisioned that he wrote so many of the letters that make up our New Testament.  I wonder if it clouded his judgement or changed how he saw things.  I wonder the impact prison had on him!

Application--We have several times debated the question of "God's Plan".  No matter how I mess it up in a sermon, our Methodist doctrine holds our free will over an idea that God has pre-destined things.  So, I'm uncomfortable saying that God MEANT for Paul to get put in prison, but it sure seems to be what Wesley called a "Happy Accident".  I hold, that no matter what you are going through, God can make good of it.  No matter how unfair, difficult, trying, or painful, God can find a way to put it to use.  If Paul hadn't been in prison, we might not know as much about God.  I won't say it was a good thing he was in prison, but I will say that I am thankful God can and will make good out of everything!

Prayer--God, We pray for those who are hurting today.  Help them see your light in their darkness.  Help them know God is on its way.  Help them feel your love.  Thank you! Amen.

Pastor Emily


Lynne Watts said...

It is hard from our perspective to understand the political structure of Paul's day. When I read the accusations and Paul's defense, I often think, "What is the big deal? Why was Paul such a threat to the Jewish leaders?" Maybe this is beyond our understanding, but I agree with Emily; out of the wilderness and confinement of prison came Paul's great legacy to us and where would we be without that?

Lindsay said...

I'm so thankful that God can turn our mess into good! When I'm having a bad day, I easily think, "poor me." Instead, I should be saying, "Take this situation and make it for your glory, God!"

Martha J. M. Orlando said...

Truthfully, I've learned more in adverse situations than in times when everything is going smoothly. I've learned to depend on the Lord more during these bad times and carry that trust and thankfulness forward with me into the good.
Yes, Lord, thank you for taking the "mess" that is me and loving me unconditionally!

Mary said...

Many times in my life, very bad situations have been times that I was closest to God and His will in my life, closest to my family and closest to my own feelings. God has blessed me in difficult times and helped me get through them.
Paul's imprisonment saved him from the Jews who wanted to kill him. And although he couldn't go on missionary trips like he once did, just think of all the people he testified to while in prison or while he was being transported from one place to the next. God is good all the time!

Carol Flores said...

Imagine -- Paul once the baddest Jew of them all -- having to be protected from the Jews by the Romans!! But the Lord came to Paul in the night and said "Be of good cheer, for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness in Rome". God's grace took Paul where he needed to be for God. God help me be open to how you are using me, even when it seems painful. Bad times can be used to glorify You if we react to them in the right way.