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.