We all have awful days i.e. our car breaks down, the hot water heater goes out, something frustrating happens at work or school, someone hurts us, the list seems endless.
Pastor/author, Charles Stanley, writing about Joseph (the one with “the coat of many colors” in the book of Genesis), pointed out,
“we are all dealt, in essence, a hand of cards. Some hands are awful. The key is not focusing on the cards, but rather on our response to them.”
In Acts 16, Paul was thrown into the “inner prison and shackled” for simply sharing his faith in Christ.
He was dealt an awful hand. And, like Joseph, had every earthly reason to curse God, remain bitter, and even throw in the towel – which is what Satan was desperately hoping for.
But, Paul turned the tables on the devil in a surprising plot twist.
Verse 25 records, “About midnight Paul and (his friend) Silas were praying and singing hymns (while shackled in prison.)”
The next phrase grips me as much as the one we just read: “and the (other) prisoners were listening to them.”
A friend told me once, “It’s completely ok – and normal – to have a pity party. But make sure and put a time limit on it.”
Translation: when we are dealt an awful hand, pain and anger and frustration will naturally follow. And that’s where Satan wants us to remain – but don’t.
Jesus is whispering to us, “I’ve got this. Trust me.”
And, who knows, just like the other prisoners in the story, it could be that others who’ve been dealt an awful hand are looking for someone – anyone – to remind them that there his hope in the Cross and the Empty Tomb.
Love to you all, Nick