Zechariah 8:1–9:17; Acts 23:23–24:27; Job 30:1–15
When we are busy doing the work of the kingdom, how do we respond to obstacles that get in our way? Do we expect God to blast a path straight through so that we can proceed? We might read the drama of Paul’s life through this lens, waiting anxiously for God to open the way for Paul to continue his spectacularly successful work. Instead, God allows Paul to be imprisoned and put on trial.
But as Paul defended himself before Roman officials, he recognized that God was using him in ways he hadn’t expected. The conflict and rejection Paul encountered from the Jews provided him with the opportunity to share the gospel with some of the most influential Gentiles he would ever encounter.
God used Paul’s trials to expand his ministry from the Jews to the Gentiles. Through Paul’s life, God displayed His power to bring about the growth of the Church and the spread of the gospel message far beyond Israel.
God is working in and among us to bring the good news to those whom we don’t have in our field of vision. We should reconsider our attitude toward the conflicts and disappointments in our lives, instead seeking God’s providential hand in them.
How can you pray for wisdom to see God at work in all the circumstances of your life?
REBECCA VAN NOORD
Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.