Woon Hin Swee
Tried and true. When we’ve used a method that has worked well for us it is very natural that we would continue to trust in it and believe it to be the right way to go. But what happens when results suddenly don’t turn out the way we expect?
Acts 21:17-40 describes what takes place during Paul’s missionary journey to Jerusalem. Here we discover that what was thought to be a good recommendation leads to a less-than-desirable outcome. Yet, would what happened be considered a failure in the plan?
WHAT Would YOU DO
It is not stated if Paul had done the right thing by heeding the advice of James and the elders. However, we do know that this persecution and arrest was an open door to a unique opportunity that would eventually lead Paul to Rome (Acts 23:11, Acts 28).
Paul’s ordeal might not have been a desirable experience in the eyes of man, but it did not stop him from being fervent in his God-given mission to preach the Gospel. Furthermore, God did not shield Paul from hardship, but used the ordeal for His purposes.
In our journey of living as Christ-followers who desire to do God’s work, we might face obstacles, hardships, and even severe persecution for our witness of Christ. However, we can take heart that God uses everything for His purpose, and there is no waste even if it seems like we have not “succeeded” in the eyes of man. Furthermore, those who are obedient can look forward to a glorious hope and imperishable reward that awaits us in eternal life. Let us live with this confidence and not let hardships in this life hold us back from obeying His call to be His witnesses to the ends of the world.
“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” – 1 Peter 1:6-7 (ESV)