What Can't Coexist
In follow up to yesterday’s Rooted devotional, let’s look at another view of the text.
Acts 16:25 (ESV)
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them,
Remember the context? Testifying to the gospel of Jesus, following God’s will, Paul and Silas are beaten, chained, and imprisoned. The text tells us that in response, they were praying and singing hymns. You cannot be grateful and hold a grudge. The two can’t coexist. You can’t be grateful in a situation and be angry simultaneously. Paul and Silas had a choice. They could be mad at the jailers and God or praise God for His many blessings despite the pain and indignity. They chose to glorify God and express gratitude, focusing on God and His blessings rather than immediate circumstances.
God is sovereign. He must be, or He isn’t God. God either causes or allows all that occurs. What does He promise His children? That He will use all things for their good. Imagine that! To know that no matter what happens to God’s child (a person who loves the Lord and has faith in Jesus Christ), God will use all events and experiences for our good. That is something to be grateful for no matter the circumstances. The next time trouble enters your life, or even an inconvenience or slight by a friend, choose to be thankful for God’s blessings. Focus on gratitude rather than a grudge. The two cannot coexist.
Father, we thank you for all you are and have done for us. Thank you for your many blessings – the good and “the bad.” As you teach us to be grateful and praise you despite the difficulty, remind us of your sovereignty and how as our Loving Heavenly Father, we can trust you. You are for us; you are not against us! Thank you! Thank you amid grief, pain, loss, violence, and injustice. We choose to focus on you rather than our circumstances, for only in You do we find true peace, love, mercy, and justice. In the name of your Son, our Savior, Jesus, we praise you. Amen.