Yet this did not stop God’s powerful work in people’s lives or in Paul’s life either. On the ship in chains, not the most comfortable situation. Yet the storm came and God was using Paul to bring hope to the prisoners as well as the Roman soldiers who were guarding them.
Let us never think God cannot use us in a situation that may feel quite confining. Paul had spent many times in prison. Yet Paul’s overruling passion to share the Gospel was by God’s sovereign plan winning out!
When we too align our hearts with God’s passions, we can have joy in any situation. Paul’s greatest desire was that God be glorified and the message of Christ be proclaimed and people come to know Him!
We see this happening in spite of being often in chains and facing large amounts of opposition. Paul saw the bright side of things though, Jesus was drawing people! Paul was most likely so joyful and enable to endure all he did because his focus was on Jesus’s glory and other’s good.
When our focus is that way, we can truly overflow with great joy and see God do amazing things and draw people to Himself!
Had Paul gotten caught up with the unfairness of the situation he may have been bitter and angry. Yet Paul looked at it as a grans opportunity to make Jesus known!
Psalms 37:4 says “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Where was Paul’s delight? In Christ, in making the gospel known and seeing people eternally spared the wrath of God!
Paul was thrilled, even in chains, even unfairly accused and persecuted. And we can have this same radiating joy if we get our hearts centered on Christ and His mission.
Jesus taught “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”
Paul discovered how to treasure Christ above all and treasure the salvation message. As a result he could delight and find joy even in bad situations.
Too easily, especially here in the west as believers, we too easily treasure comforts, convenience, materialistic prosperity or things that are not necessarily bad in and of themselves, but can be if that is what we live for and grow too attached to.
When times are good, praise the Lord! When times are rough, praise the Lord, for as it is written, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
When we have Him, we have all we need, a provider, protector, comforter and a “Shield and exceedingly great reward!”
God will provide what we need in His way and time and keep us alive till he calls us home!