Saturday, September 24, 2016
EVEN IN GOD'S WILL
Dearly Beloved, EVEN IN GOD'S WILL "During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, `Come over to Macedonia and help us.' After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them" (Acts 16:9-10 NIV). The intention of Paul and his companion during his second missionary journey was to continue their missionary activities in the region of Phrygia and Galatia, but the Holy Spirit did not allow them to. When they tried to go to another place, they were again prevented by the Holy Spirit. However, God led them to go to the region of Macedonia. They had a successful ministry in this region until an ugly thing happened - Paul and Silas were arrested, hurriedly tried, beating publicly, and unjustly imprisoned for delivering a slave girl from an evil spirit. One may wonder why Paul and his companions should have such nasty experience when they were in the right place where God wanted them to be. Why should they suffer injustice when they were doing the will of God? Nevertheless, God glorified Himself in the situation and many more souls were won for Him (see Acts 16:25-40). A similar situation occurred in Acts 18. God categorically told Paul: "Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no-one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city" (Acts 18:9-10 NIV). In obedience to this, Paul stayed in Corinth for one and half years. Notwithstanding this, there was a persecution. Some Jews tried to prosecute him, but God indeed rescued him from them. Are you passing through one suffering or persecution even when you are sure that you are in the will of God? Do not be discouraged! Suffering and persecution have been part and parcel of the gospel. "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Timothy 3:12 NIV. See also Matthew 5:11, 12; Mark 10:30; Acts 14:22; Romans 5:3; 2 Timothy 2:12; James 1:2-4, 12; 5:11; 1 Peter 4:12-16). Jesus says, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33 NIV). Even in God's will, there are persecution and hardship, but God will use the persecution and hardship to glorify Himself in your life. In His service, Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Prayer Requests: 1. God, let me always be in your will so that even if persecution or suffering comes, it will be to your glory. 2. Always assure me of your presence in persecution and hardship in Jesus' name.