Thursday, August 29, 2019

Prisoner for Christ?





Is it another one of those days? Nothing's going right. You're not feeling well. You wake up and all you know is pain, or remorse from  a wrong you've done. Maybe a friend betrayed you and you're heartsick. Or did you mess up at work? There are countless situations in our lives that get us down, hold us back, sidetrack us. Sometimes we even feel imprisoned by our circumstances. I feel like that a lot.

We are just people. So disappointments, travails, frustrations and fears are part of life. I'm right there with you. Too often, in the midst of a struggle I falter. I'm not the kind of friend I should be or the mother I should be, or Christian I should be. I become weary, angry, and sometimes I feel sorry for myself.  Ugh. I hate that.

When everything seems too hard or even impossible, friends are good and helpful, but the only place to find the right answers every time is in God, His Word. If only we will listen to Him. Sorting out troubles in my own power will lead me astray.

The apostle Paul spent long periods of time imprisoned and yet he wrote more books in the Bible than any other man, some of the most powerful words were penned from within the confines of prison.

Did he get angry or frustrated? Was he ever afraid? Did he struggle to carry out his mission? What do you think? He was just a man, after all. 

When Paul began his ministry, Christians did not trust him. They turned him away. Can we blame them? He had been the chief persecutor of Christ followers. Still, Paul persevered. He was hunted, beaten, jailed and ultimately gave his life for his faith. A man doesn't walk that walk without disappointment and even despair. But by the strength and power of God Paul kept on going. He didn't give up. He continued to preach Christ and offered wisdom and  knowledge and even encouragement to believers ... even while in prison.

When I think of this man who loved the Lord so much that he gave his life for him I have to look at myself too. I don't like what I see - weakness, fear, frustration ... self. 

But I'm not without hope. 

It is God in the midst of the difficult things of this earth that help me grow stronger. I am thankful for spring because there is winter. And the heat of summer makes me long for fall.  

What a privilege it is to serve the Lord. I can depend upon Him. He provides all I need. He never forsakes me. But if I am to live confidently rejoicing my gaze must rest upon Him.

The Lord's plans are perfect. I pray we recognize the beauty in His purpose for us, no matter what the circumstances. And may we rest in His peace, understanding how deep His love is for us. 

We do not walk alone.

Grace and peace to you from God.

Bonnie


3 comments:

  1. Bonnie: I have always been drawn to Paul's letters. I am going to be leading a Bible Study on Philippians next month. I will be leading residents who live in a retirement community in our city. Please remember me in your prayers. I will be leading this group on the second Friday of each month.

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  2. I love the book of Philippians. And how precious to hear that you’re working with your cities senior citizens. I know the Lord will bless your work. Praying for you.

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  3. I’m in my bed, you’re in yours. One of us is obviously in the wrong place. Click here and Check me out i am getting naked here ;)

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