Have you ever been completely right, yet ended up in the wrong places? Have you heard the right things from the right person, in the right way, at the right time, headed in the right direction with the right people, yet landed up in trouble?
There are those who say until and unless you have gone wrong and done wrong you will not end up in any trouble. The lives of so many Bible heroes seem to suggest otherwise!
One of the best examples is Job, another being Jesus and the ones I am referring to over here are Paul and Silas in Acts 16. If you read the whole chapter, you will know exactly how God guided their steps by the Holy Spirit, through dreams, visions and through very specific prophetic directions. Moreover, God backed them up with mighty signs and wonders wherever they went.
Yet at the end of the day they were beaten up badly and were imprisoned in a Roman dungeon on false charges. That’s definitely not the best place to be in, if you have been preaching the word of God all day long. Ask a preacher about the strain and effort that goes into studying the Word, preparing from it, preaching and ministering. After you have finished a great day’s meeting, all you look forward to is a place to rest and seek God for directions regarding the next day. But here we have Paul and Silas, in a totally unexpected place, with frail bodies and an unpredictable future.
How will we respond to God if we’d ended up in a situation like that, after working so hard for the Lord all day long? How will our prayer be that night? Would we even bother to pray? Would we ask God for a miraculous escape? Or question His goodness?
Here’s what Paul and Silas did. “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God” (Acts 16:25). Doesn’t that seem outrageous? I wonder how they could be so extremely joyful and so passionately driven with a purpose even in the deepest and darkest situations in their lives! How could they even remember the tune of a song when their body was so much in pain due to beatings by the mob they bore!
Well, the thing to remember is that it surely isn’t trouble if God has led you into it. There is a purpose in the darkest nights of your life. And for this night, it was the salvation & baptism of the Jail Manager and his household. Had they missed their time of worship and prayer that particular night, they would have missed God’s purpose for them in that midnight crisis.
How often do we miss the purposes and plans of God for the seemingly dark days of our life because of our lack of consistency and failure to completely trust in His divine and sovereign will over our lives? We might be facing the darkest days of our life, but please remember that God has a plan, and it can be fulfilled only by each of us yielding daily to Him in complete surrender.