We pray for relief from our pain and God may be using the pain to do His good work in us.

God’s Timing:
Shortcut to Prison – Part 2

Scripture Reading:  Acts 16:16-24

Key Verse:  Acts 16:23

After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully.

Continuing from yesterday’s story, we saw that Paul and Silas took a shortcut to prison.  They did not see it that way at the time, I’m sure!  They probably had thoughts of why God was allowing their lives to be delayed, taking a long way through prison, but God had a plan and mission for these two and prison was a shortcut to it, from God’s perspective.  The jailer could have been saved in other ways and by other means, but this event was the best way.

            Let’s review the options God has when we pray for His help and guidance.  First, the most popular answer: Yes.  Second, the most unpopular answer: No.  A third option is: Not now.  In this third option God sees a better time in our future to answer yes to that request.  A fourth option: It’s not about you!  In this option God is moving in someone else’s life and wants your influence to help serve that other person.  This, I believe, was the answer that God gave to Paul and Silas.

            As Christ followers our lives are not our own, we have been bought with a price (1Corinthians 6:20).  When we are praying for relief from some painful experience, God may have a plan that uses your painful experience to speak to and influence another person.  Are you willing to allow God to use your life in that way?  Can you grow from self-absorbed to a servant?  In the end, you will be blessed far more as a servant!

Father, I will close all my prayers with: Not my will but your will be done.  I am your servant; use me to your glory.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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