Look for That Silver Lining – Trust in God
The prisoner Paul, having appealed to Caesar, was transferred by ship from Caesarea to Rome. There, according to Acts 28:16, he “was permitted to have his own private lodging, though he was guarded by a soldier.”
Able to receive visitors, he boldly witnessed and taught about Jesus. The final sentence of the Book of Acts observes, “And no one tried to stop him.”
Interact with God’s Word
- What reversals (see Acts 21:15-28:6) are included in Paul’s “everything that has happened to me” (v. 12)?
- How would most unjustly imprisoned persons react: Give up? … Turn bitter?
- Do you think God planned Paul’s imprisonment to penetrate the center of Roman political power?
- Who did Paul regard (v. 13) as his “captive” audience?
- How do we know his witness to them was effective (see Philippians 4:22)?
- What benefits from his confinement (v. 14) did Paul see for believers?
- How did Paul react (vv. 15-18) to those taking advantage of his custody?
- When have you seen God snatch ultimate good from apparent tragedy?
- What’s at center stage in your life? … Achieving personal comfort? … Contributing to gospel advance?
Spend Time in Prayer: Ask God for the ability to trust Him to use apparent setbacks in your life for your growth in discipleship, and for the advancement of His kingdom.
12 And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. 13 For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. 14 And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear.
15 It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. 16 They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News.
17 Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. 18 But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice.