May 15, 2019
I read a story about a man who lived 10 years in prison for a murder that he did not commit. While in prison, he became a follower of Jesus. He called the 10 years a bargain. Now that is looking at a difficult situation with a positive perspective.
After the Apostle Paul met Jesus, it would be difficult to find a situation when he appeared to be feeling down. He sang while in prison. Knowing he was hated by people for his faith in Jesus, he used every opportunity to tell Jesus’ Story. The record in Acts shows that he was always ready to talk about his conversion – and he did this multiple times.
It is challenging to imagine what it was like for the prison guards as Paul talked about Jesus to anyone and everyone who came to visit him. He verbalized letters to friends and churches – those guards had to listen to all of this as it was written.
While traveling to Rome as a prisoner, he took charge of the situation when the ship wrecked. In addition, while wintering on Malta, he was used by God to do miracles. The people thought he was a god.
Compared to the Apostle Paul, I have to admit never having a real problem. But I have found it easy to see the negative side of things – even complain. When focusing on the immediate, we can forget that there is more to the story. A song says, “Back of the clouds the sun is always shining.” That perspective helps us handle the immediate challenge and gives us hope.
It would be awful to spend years in prison for a crime that was committed by someone else. We could call that unfair. But if that is where we meet Jesus and receive eternal life with Creator God, it is a bargain.
Pastor Bill Ehmann