In Acts 28:1, Luke wrote “after we were brought safely through” (ESV). The interesting thing is he, Paul, and everyone on a ship had just experienced a horrible storm and shipwreck. Unfortunately, many people would not say they had been “brought safely through,” or had escaped, they would fixate on the terrible time they’d encountered while being in a raging sea for days and days, the fact that the ship’s cargo was lost, and the boat was destroyed.
Paul had years of being mistreated by others. He was been beaten, stoned, jailed, people repeatedly tried to kill him, he lived through several shipwrecks, and he experienced hardships and trials beyond what most people could endure. However, Paul did not sit around feeling sorry for himself, whining and complaining about his numerous difficulties. Paul kept a proper perspective by keeping his focus on Christ, and Paul saw each day, and every experience, even his trials as opportunities to share Christ.
I wonder how often we have prayed to be used by the Lord, or desired to be used by Him in mighty ways, but then think God has deserted us or is mad at us, or get mad at God, when we are put in difficult situations?
Sharon Jaynes wrote, “History is full of untold stories of men and women who did not complete their assignments from God but stopped too soon in the face of disappointment. Perseverance is fueled by moving beyond the circumstances that are seemingly against you with confidence in the Holy Spirit who is within you.”[i]
Paul persevered. He ran the race, forgetting what was behind, he pressed onward, he didn’t waste the God-given opportunities he was given, and kept focused on Christ and continued telling others about Christ. If Paul had only paid attention to his many difficulties, he would have missed all the things God was doing in his life. Instead, Paul looked beyond what happened to his body and the hardships he faced. Paul never gave up, he had the Holy Spirit within him, and he knew God was always in control.
We too have been called to share the Good News about our Savior. We are given the Holy Spirit to help and equip us to complete every assignment given by God. Therefore, instead of spending time bemoaning difficulties, and asking God why we are going through difficulties, why we went through difficulties, let’s ask for spiritual eyes to see what God is showing us, what we can learn, what God is doing and revealing about Himself to us and others, and how God can use us for His Kingdom.
Everything God has helped you through, can be used by God to grow your faith, trust, and confidence in God, and also can be used to help others get through the trials they are facing or will face in the future.
God in His kindness and tender mercies will at times put us in difficult situations to help us grow and to help others, for God desires all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).
Are you going through a difficult time? I have good news, because of the grace, forgiveness, and mercy given through Christ Jesus, you will be brought safely through this life and blessed to be in God’s wonderful presence forever.
God will always bring His children safely through whatever they go through.
Through Christ, “we also have access by faith into this [remarkable state of] grace in which we [firmly and safely and securely] stand. Let us rejoice in our hope and the confident assurance of [experiencing and enjoying] the glory of [our great] God [the manifestation of His excellence and power]. And not only this, but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship (distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance; and endurance, proven character (spiritual maturity); and proven character, hope and confident assurance [of eternal salvation]” (Romans 5:2-4, AMP).
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[i] Sharon Jaynes, Take Hold of the Faith You Long for, Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2016
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