Have you ever felt like you were following through on what God called you to do? But, it seemed he was punishing you?
Perhaps, he’s called you to love a difficult person.
Perhaps, he’s called you to serve in a difficult spot.
Perhaps, he’s called you to wait on him.
Perhaps, he’s called you to stay put in a place you don’t want to.
Paul went to Macedonia saying, “God had called us to preach the gospel (in Macedonia).” (Act 16:10)
There, he cast out a demon in a woman, saying, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” (Acts 16:18)
Only to land himself in prison when the owners of the woman realized they lost “their hope of making money.” (Acts 16:9)
If I was Paul, I might throw my hands up in the air and say, “Thanks a lot, God. You really know how to send a woman out and then let her down.”
Paul and crew were stripped, flogged, beaten and thrown in jail.
What do you do when it seems God – led you, but now he’s fled you?
It’s easy to feel angry, frustrated and indifferent in this place?
Years back, God called me to start a company. I seeking God with all my heart. I was obedient in the work, diligent in the process and hopeful in prayer, yet it didn’t happen. It tanked so badly, there were tens of thousands of dollars on the line. That was tough.
What is tough place has God called you to?
Here’s how Paul responds, within the walls of his prison: About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. (Acts 16:25)
Imagine that? Beaten, wounded and imprisoned, yet still singing, praising and evangelizing…
This act, brings me to a place of pause: What if rather than seeing my disgrace, I believed God, for me, would about-face my situation?
And, in this I could give praise?
Did Paul believe this?
Did he know his good God would most certainly do a good thing?
Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. (Acts 16:26)
When we believe in God’s power, his power tools break down high walls. When we are in the center of God’s will, God works a way out for us. When we are worshipping, God is working on our behalf to open doors.
I think Paul believed in the power of God. What if we believed too?
When that person hurts us. God can shake us in love that heals.
When that dream fizzles. God will quake new dreams in us; He has a plan.
When pain surfaces: Through God all things are possible. We will wait.
When we see no way out: God will mine gold in our heart through this.
When we feel bad: Jesus’ forgiveness rattles our soul in unwarranted acceptance that feels like peace.
God will show up and when he does the power of his work – will set you free. Until, then, like Paul, “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” (Psalm 27:14)