Friday, October 27

Opportunity in the trial

Scripture: Job 18, Psalm 114, Acts 27-28

Acts 28:30-31 For two years Paul lived in a place he rented for himself, and there he welcomed all who came to see him. He preached about the Kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ, speaking with all boldness and freedom.

Observation/application

Acts ends in triumph…in jail.

Acts begins with the Lord’s commission: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”  Acts 1:8

The rest of the book traces the spread of the gospel from Jerusalem to Rome, the capital of the empire.  The book ends with Paul “preaching about the Kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ, speaking with all boldness and freedom.”  He is doing this in Rome—the seat of power!

And he is doing it while imprisoned.  He is not in a Roman dungeon.  Paul was a citizen and his accusers had not come to Rome, so he was placed under Roman guard but allowed to live in his own rented quarters—what we might call “house arrest.”  For two years, he used this as an opportunity to spread the gospel, to share the good news of Jesus with everyone who came to visit.  And no doubt believers were bringing their friends to meet Paul and hear from this impassioned man!

God was at work in a ridiculous situation.  God was at work while Paul was stuck in house arrest.

And God is at work in my life even when it feels like I’m in jail, like I’m boxed in.  We all have limitations: physical, financial, emotional, skills.  But God is never limited by these and is able to accomplish His purposes.  Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:9, “Because I preach the Good News, I suffer and I am even chained like a criminal. But the word of God is not in chains.”

Look for where God is at work in spite of your chains, your limitations.  Look for His opportunity in your trial.

Prayer: Lord, help me to see today where You are at work in my limitations.  Help me not to get stuck feeling sorry for myself because of my “chains” but to look for the opportunity in the trial.