Some things we experience along the way as we walk with the Lord are VERY UNPLEASANT! Others are wonderful and bring us happiness and joy…
Did I just say somethings we experience as we walk with the Lord are unpleasant? Yes, I surely did! I’ve experienced a few of those things… trials, difficulties, discouragements, unfair things, and pain… and that’s a partial list! And if you’ve followed the Lord very long you’ve experienced (or are experiencing) some of them! In fact, ask Apostle Paul – he’d tell you about some of the unpleasant things he went through (2 Corinthians 1:8-10 and 11:23-33 for example)!
But Paul had a deep conviction (and we can have it too) … Romans 8:28, 35-39:
“We know that for those who love God all things work together for good to those who are called according to His purpose! … Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? … No! In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, no powers, no height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
During my time of “coffee with the Lord this morning” I read a wonderful testimony by Apostle Paul to this truth… He was in prison, chained to two Roman guards around the clock for His faith! Regardless of that unpleasantness, here was his conviction… “WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME HAS REALLY SERVED TO ADVANCE THE GOSPEL! It has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ! … I am put here for the defense of the gospel!” (Philippians 1:12-18)
Many would call a situation like that “the great unpleasantness” and complain about what they were having to go through! … Not Paul!! He saw it through the eyes of faith! He had confidence in God to “work it out for good!” And his testimony, almost incidentally, at the end of his letter to the Philippian believers? “All the saints greet you, ESPECIALLY THOSE OF CAESAR’S HOUSEHOLD!” (Philippians 4:22) Paul lets us know that his imprisonment actually became an opportunity to reach “Caesar’s household” and the “Roman Imperial Guard” with the gospel!
My prayer? Oh Lord, give me the confidence and faith to believe that unpleasant situations and circumstances are “working all things together for good!”