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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

June 27, 2012 - Undefeated

By William E. Richardson

“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16:25, NKJV).

Paul and Silas awoke. They sat reeling in pain in the deepest, darkest part of a Philippian prison. They’d been beaten with rods, then restrained in a cell from which prisoners didn’t normally escape. They responded to their situation with at least three conclusions that made all the difference.

First conclusion: The blame game is futile.

Neither asked God, “Why are You punishing me?” The Holy Spirit had rerouted their journey to reach some new locations with the gospel. These missionaries obeyed. They had not failed God. God had not failed them.

By freeing a demon-possessed woman earlier that day, they angered Satan. The prince of darkness caused her handlers to rile up a mob. The local authorities then punished the two strangers for troubling their city.

Second conclusion: Appearances are deceiving.

Paul and Silas knew the history of God’s followers. Joseph in Egypt was wrongly accused and sent to prison, but he wasn’t defeated. God arranged his release with a promotion. Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den but wasn’t defeated. The next morning he emerged without a scratch.

Paul himself had been pelted with stones at the town of Lystra and left for dead. It appeared to others like certain defeat. It wasn’t. Paul got up, reentered the city and continued preaching.

Third conclusion: God is in control.

Paul and Silas didn’t only believe it; they acted upon it. They could pray and praise God no matter their circumstances. Their futures were His to control.

The conclusions they drew freed them to trust God and sing His praises. God released them from their chains and prison cell with an earthquake. Their faith in God inspired the jailer to become a Christian.

As God’s people, we may get knocked down, but we’re never out. Like He did with the Philippian jailer, God sometimes uses our unpleasant events to draw others to himself. I’m so glad when I keep trusting God, not only am I not defeated, but the gospel message is victorious.

— William E. Richardson is senior pastor of Afton (Iowa) Assembly of God and blogs at lights4god.com.

 

 

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