God's Plan For Good In My Life

Day 9 of 10 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Others are watching! When you’re trying to figure out the stress of your life, it’s easy to forget that others are watching. Many have grown up in a faith tradition that taught you that faith is a very private thing between you and God. The problem with that is it contradicts what the New Testament teaches us. I realize it’s more challenging for introverts, but as you move closer to Christ and His reality, you will come to places where you realize God wants to use you to help others.


Paul and Silas were being watched. That’s always what God has in mind.  He’s not just coming to free you, he’s always interested in using your confidence in God to free others. To lead others to true freedom. The others in prison with Paul and Silas were so influenced by what they had seen, they didn’t run away even after the prison doors flew open. There was nothing outside that prison that enticed those prisoners to leave what was happening right there. 


“The jailer woke up after the earthquake and when he saw the prison doors open he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “don’t harm yourself, we are all here.” The jailer called for lights and rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out of the prison cells and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” He wanted to know how he could have what they had. He wanted to know this God who worked a power for Paul and Silas that left him speechless. Even after, especially after, they’d been so mistreated and wrongfully accused.


I love this story. I didn’t like the beginning of it...none of us do. I didn’t like being in the cave of that hospital room with no answers to my infection. We could blame God, “if you’re such a loving God why did you let this happen?” If we’re not careful, those who are used to being in control, and who practice being in control, will find themselves resentful or fearful or bitter.  


But when we become people who practice placing our confidence in God, that is the open door.  You have given him permission in your life to work out his full plan which is always good. And others are watching, so the good of God at work in your life will always spill over and affect others. Your darkest moments of failure, fear, hurt, or betrayal are not too dark for God. There’s no dark prison or cave of hurt that God doesn’t meet you in.  


I don’t know why God allows what happens in every situation; I can’t answer that. Paul and Silas were probably wondering “wow, what in the world??” Are you expressing doubt, cynicism, anger, blame? Do you find yourself creeping into the critical spirit that seems to have taken over our society?  Or are you someone who is committed to being a follower of Jesus, so much so that the words that come out of your mouth are words of trust and confidence in God? It’s okay to be concerned. But at some point, if we’re serious about the reality of God at work in our lives we must express our trust in his power and good. When you direct your true worship to Jesus, you step (and influence those watching) into freedom, even before the dark prison walls come down.