Thought for the day: In Acts 20:22-23 – “And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: 23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. ”
Is it not true that most of the time you and I associate prosperity, ease, and safety with being synonymous with God’s will. Paul knew what God wanted. He was directly led by the Holy Spirit and the Spirit led him directly into bonds and afflictions. Paul knew what God had in store for him in this life – trouble!!! The next verse (v. 24) says “But none of these things move me…”
J. Oswald Sanders in his book Dynamic Spiritual Leadership says, “He (Paul) realized that it is not always our duty to avoid danger.” He goes on to say “The test of courage in a leader includes his ability to meet unpleasant or even devastating facts and situations without panic, as well as his willingness to take firm action when necessary, even if it is unpopular.”
This whole topic takes my mind immediately to James 1:3,4 – “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
James said count temptations, (adversity, experience of evil) as joy (delightful). These things are God’s will. It is God’s will that we be tried, tested, tempted, and come forth with patience and thus become more and more like our Saviour!!!
In Romans 5:3 Paul said “we glory in tribulations…”
Application: Today before you start your day or whenever you read this e-mail stop and thank God and take calm delight in the trials that are present in your life. These things are not present to destroy you. Rather, they are to make you like your Savior Jesus Christ!!!