God Thought 11/2/22
by Joseph Worsham
by Joseph Worsham
We love to use the phrase “step into all that God has for us” when talking about living a life sold out for Jesus. Honestly, I do love that phrase, and that’s because God truly does have an amazing plan for our lives. But what if His plan puts us in the same position that Paul was in? Does that phrase suddenly hold a different weight? What if stepping into what God has for us means that we’ll not only encounter troubles and hard circumstances but sometimes run towards them? Paul is addressing this directly. In fact, he’s doing so from the comforts of a cold, damp, uncomfortable prison cell while at the same time being shackled in chains. What God had for him wasn’t to be honored and praised for sharing the message of the gospel, nor was it for him to be rich. In fact, it was quite the opposite.
The truth is, nowhere in the Bible does it say our lives as Christ followers will be stress-free and easy. In fact, the Bible contains countless stories of people who followed the Lord and dealt with many trials. What could that look like for you? Maybe He wants you to share the gospel with a family member you think would stop talking to you if you shared Jesus with them. Maybe you know you need to find new friends that will help you grow in your relationship with Jesus and not hurt it. God could even be calling you to something that completely alters the course of your life. Whatever it is, you can guarantee that you’ll experience tough situations in this life.
No one knows this better than Paul, and that’s why he’s writing this! As you read today’s passage, take note of the words he uses. They are not words of sorrow. He is REJOICING! Because he’s filled with the Holy Spirit, the only thing he’s concerned with is that the gospel message is spread. This should encourage us to stand firm in our faith, too!
The same Spirit that filled Paul can fill us to be the same way when trials occur. All we have to do is ask! The Lord doesn’t promise an easy life, but just as Paul displays here, He does promise a fulfilling life.
Pause: Think about how the rough patches in your life can be used to bring the gospel to others.
Practice: Find and write down three Scriptures you can hold on to when life gets hard.
Pray: Continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will fill you with joy and boldness to reach others with the gospel.
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