Changing Our Focus

John 15:18-21

There is nothing that can touch a believer’s life unless it comes through the permissive will of God. That means He has complete control, even when it feels as if Satan has been allowed to run rampant through our personal life.

Trapped in Roman confinement, Paul knew that God could rescue him; after all, He had removed Peter’s chains (Acts 12:7). But Paul was not simply waiting around for liberation. Because he believed God did everything for a reason, he earnestly continued doing kingdom work—even while bound in chains.

Indeed, the Lord has a purpose for whatever He brings into a person’s life. Though we may desperately wish for our circumstances to change, God will allow us to go through a given situation when it will ultimately bring about the most favorable result. If we let Him complete the work instead of trying to extricate ourselves, we will see a positive outcome.

Paul’s time in prison proved a benefit for the gospel, though logically, the spread of the Word should have been severely hindered by the confinement of such a great preacher. In two years he had been guarded by many of the elite praetorian soldiers (Phil. 1:13), and we know what Paul would have talked to them about during their shifts—Christ!

There are no verses in the Bible that say believers are promised an easy life. In fact, the Word warns the opposite and says we will see trouble (John 16:33). But we, like Paul, can choose to live above our circumstances by realizing that God has a plan to use our experiences for our good and the benefit of others.

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