I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Thursday, October 10, 2013

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
or Recognizing the Hand of God

by ginger takamiya

It’s easy to recognize the hand of God when it pops out from heaven and scrawls a message on the wall from the Almighty, even if you don’t understand its meaning, as in King Belshazzar’s case. (See Daniel 5)

But would you recognize the hand of God if it came down and looked like silence, or punishment, or failure?

In the book of Acts 16:16-31 we have a story of the Apostles Paul and Silas going about doing good when a demon possessed girl comes up and shouts behind them:

 “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”
Sounds good doesn't it?

Paul finally get’s fed up with it and casts the demon out causing her to lose her fortune-telling abilities and her owners to lose money. They drag Paul and Silas into court, tell stories on them and get them flogged (that’s a bad beating) and thrown into prison.
Bad day for our boys the Apostles.

When bad things happen to us while we are moving and living in the will of God, it can sometimes rock our world. Leaving us locked up and looking hopeless.

Paul and Silas didn't let what was happening on the outside of them, nullify or overtake what God had already done on the inside of them. Though they sat in stocks with their backs raw and in all kinds of pain, they lifted up their voices to praise and worship God. Look what Acts 16:25 said happened:

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.

They had no way of knowing that anyone was listening. They were in the deep part of jail, in stocks. Acts 16:26 says:

 But then 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.

The jailer stood ready to kill himself but for Paul shouting:

 "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!" The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household."

An entire household and who knows how many prisoners came to Christ that night because two men decided not to be defeated on the inside. They chose to allow the hand of God to work any way He wanted to.

Are you allowing God to work in your life?

He holds your writing career, the timing, the purpose, the results, all in His hands so stop fretting about it and do what Paul and Silas did. 


I bet you have stories where your good deed got punished or perhaps you finally recognized the hand of God in something. Please share your story below.


  1. It's really about God drawing straight with crooked lines.

    I'm very ill, and my life expectancy...well, not great. I didn't think I'd make it this far, and there is a LOT of pain involved.

    It has been tempting to be a wimp and whine "Why me?" But the truth is that God disposes, and we have to accept His choices, even when we may neither understand nor like them.

    In that acceptance .liberation for me, and new purpose. I can write, and show people that life is worth living even if you have just a day left, or just an hour. There's still time to be God's hands and feet.

    The limited horizon just makes the focus that much clearer.


    1. Hi Andrew. We follow some of the same blogs and I've been praying for you. You have such depth in your answers. Praying today for showers of blessing for you.

    2. This reminds me of the scripture:

      Psalm 84:10
      Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere...
      Thanks for spreading the "good news", Andrew. "And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?"
      (Esther 4:14)

      Blessings both to you and through you.

  2. Great post, Ginger. It's easy to be joyful when everything is going our way. Not so much when we are struggling with an illness or even to understand some of the terrible things going on around us.

    1. As Andrew has so eloquently pointed out, isn't that the truth :)

    2. Good stuff, Ginger. Thanks & blessings, Dee

  3. Ginger, I read this early this morning, and didn't leave a comment. I loved your post. I've had a couple friendships where the other person misconstrued things I did and said to the point that it ended the friendship. It was sad, and took time work through it in a way that kept me from becoming bitter from the hurt. But I learned that some friendships truly are for a season.

    There have been other times for choosing joy too. And it is a choice, not an automatic response in the midst of trials.

  4. Jeanne, isn't that so true?