Joy Even in Trials

From Ephesus, Paul set out for Macedonia as explained in Acts 20:1-12 and ultimately to Greece. Along the way, he spoke to people about the ways of Christ and other words of encouragement. Then he stayed in Greece for three months. This is when Paul wrote Romans.

All this time, there were plots out to kill Paul and he knew about the plots so he decided to go back through Macedonia and over to Troas. At Troas, the believers came together in an upstairs room and listened to Paul speak deep into the night. It was so deep into the night that one man named Eutychus who was sitting near the window went to sleep and fell to his apparent death from the third story (v. 9). Paul went down, put his arms around Eutychus, and assured everyone that Eutychus was alive.

Sure enough, Eutychus did survive and was taken home the next morning after Paul spent the night breaking bread, eating, and sharing with the believers about the gospel message. Imagine the physical strain of Paul’s ministry. There was a plot out to kill him, yet he would travel through the area and speak about the gospel message sometimes all night long.

Through it all, God was there to protect and give Paul the energy needed to carry out the mission. We should remember this personal inconvenience that Paul had to go through. Salvation is free but discipleship will be inconvenient at times.

As we go through the challenges that life throws our way, there are days when we get tired, confused, or kind of down but if we keep going and make some progress for that day, we can wake up the next day feeling revived with the momentum needed to get back up to full speed.

Lord, this day with You, some of us may not feel very good. Some of us may feel lonely or inferior or just physically worn out. All these things make us realize our complete dependence on You. Just like Paul faced in life, we will face resistance but we will grow in You with persistence. In You, there are great possibilities and if we stay the course and focus on these possibilities, we can be assured of overcoming the obstacles we face. Today, we can smile at the inconveniences, say thank for a brighter future ahead knowing that You are with us. Amen.

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About Mark Shields

Mark volunteers as a member of the media ministry team at his church. A few years ago, he started an on-line Bible study guide called “This Day with God Devotional”. He uses this as a tool in his journey through the Bible. We live in a very busy world with busy schedules so this tool has helped him continue with daily Bible reading and study. Each of the studies are designed to help apply our faith in the work place, at school, or at home. Join him on this journey or check in every so often to read his thoughts.
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