Life doesnít always go smooth. All of us come across situations, where we feel like we are being punished for no fault of ours.
Joseph was thrown into the prison because he refused to go to bed with his masterís wife, though she compelled him, and sin against God.
Paul and Silas, as they were serving God, came across a servant girl, who was demon possessed, and drove the demon out of her. The masters of the servant girl, who used to earn a great deal of money through her prophesying by the demon ( that was in her), were enraged and dragged Paul and Silas before the authorities. As a result, they were then stripped, beaten and thrown into the prison. (Acts 16.23-23)
These were not fair treatments on these men, who deserved nothing of these.
We may think about it and conclude that it was the fault of the people around them, but then I would like to bring to your notice another noteworthy point.
The point is - It was Godís will for them.
For us, the children of God, even though it is a prison experience that we go through, we can be sure that God is in control and He will allow nothing apart from His will to enter our lives.
Yet, there is a condition. We should be careful to walk blamelessly before God, in obedience to His Word.
Now this is how we know that Joseph, Paul and Silas were in the will of God. Lets see what happens to them after the go into the prison.
Joseph- He interpreted the dreams of two of Kingís officials, which eventually led to his calling to interpret the Kingís dream, right after which he was made the governor of the entire Kingdom.
Paul and Silas- God used them to save the guard and his entire household, and even baptize them.
Today, if youíre going through a tough situation, youíre not able to bear it and you feel like itís not youíre fault, donít worry. I tell you cheer up and be encouraged, for God has something great in store for you through this experience. He will bring you forth as gold out of the furnace.
Even as we go through the problems in exhaustion, we need to look into the lives of these men and learn from them.
During your prison experience:
1. Love Others- Joseph himself was in prison, yet when he saw the Kingís officials sad, he shows his care for them, he asks them what the matter that was concerning them was and gives the answer for their problem. (Genesis 40.7)
Let us also be like that, showing love to others even at hard times.
2. Pray and Praise God- ĎAbout midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God.Ē (Acts 16.25)
What ever may be our problem today, let us pray to God and Praise Him with all our hearts. This can break open any prison gates as it did in the times of these great men of God.
3. Minister to People- Joseph brought Godís interpretation to the Kingís officials. Paul and Silas brought Godís word and salvation to the prison guard and his house hold.
Where ever we are, whatever condition we may be in, God wants to use us to be a blessing to others and to build His kingdom.
When God gave me this message, I did not understand why He was talking about prison experience. But very soon I faced a problem where I found myself unable to bear it. I asked myself why I was facing that a problem when it was something I didnít deserve at all. However, Godís word helped me through. He helped me to pray and worship Him amidst the problem. He helped me to minister to people and to love even those who I felt were the cause for my dejection.