And I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. For everyone here, including all the soldiers in the palace guard, knows I am in chains because of Christ. And because of my imprisonment, many of the Christians here have gained confidence and have become more bold in telling others about Christ.
Paul was in prison for sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, and yet, he saw a positive side to his situation. He took a tough, negative situation in his life and used it as a launching pad to further the spread of the Gospel. Even the palace guards knew and understood the reason for Paul’s arrest and imprisonment because Paul had told them so. He didn’t allow uncertain circumstances to hold him back from sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with everyone he came in contact with, even if it was prison guards or Roman soldiers. He believed everyone should be afforded the right to receive salvation, even at the expense of his own comfort and safety.
Paul, the eternal optimist, saw the good in every situation and believed that God really did work all things together for good. He understood that life wasn’t all about him and his comfort, but instead it was about spreading the news of Jesus Christ and salvation to a lost and dying world. He trusted that wherever he landed was obviously ordained by God and part of a bigger mission.
We often find ourselves in negative, tough situations, and our reactions are usually quite opposite from Paul’s. We immediately think about our own comforts and desires and react accordingly. A simple flat tire can cause a major meltdown and upheaval due to our comfort level and time schedule being disrupted. We would rather gripe and complain about our own discomforts instead of believing that God ordained our steps and placed us in the path of someone who needed to know about Jesus Christ and His salvation. When was the last time we shared the gospel with a tow truck driver, or an emergency room nurse, or the person behind us in the long, grocery store check-out line. Our uncomfortable situations situate us in places where we have an opportunity to make a huge difference. And instead of seeing that wealth of opportunity, we see a self-centered, inward view of negativity and discomfort. Often times, our uncomfortable situations is God’s way of accomplishing his intended purpose and if we will learn to submit to His ways and attempt to see things from His perspective, we will accomplish so much more for the Kingdom of God.
When was the last time you thanked God for a negative situation in your life? Think back on one of those situations. Can you now see a positive thing that resulted from what you thought was once a hopeless case? Thank God for hindsight!
Be aware today of every step you take and every place you’re situated. Look at those that are situated around you and realize that your steps are ordained by God. Strike up a conversation with that person next to you in line. You don’t have to preach, just share some joy and love with them. Watch where God will take it, I think you’ll be amazed. (I’d love to hear some feedback from those that follow this advice today.)
Have a great day!