In your deepest, darkest place of pain, God can and will use it for His gain, then He’ll turn your pain into Overwhelming Victory.MY FAITH EXPRESSIONS
Through your lowest valley, God’s saving hand of mercy is still moving all around you. As He did with the life of Paul, let Him use your life for good.
After Paul’s conversion, He visited many cities where he preached the Word of the Lord. He had a heart for new believers and wanted them to continue in the faith. During a part of his ministry, Paul chose Silas to travel with him with the goal of strengthening the churches.
Acts 16:16-18 (NLT) says,
16 One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit that enabled her to tell the future. She earned a lot of money for her masters by telling fortunes. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.”
18 This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her.
Here, Paul demonstrates great faith in the power of the name of Jesus Christ. In boldness, he commanded that this demon come out of her, not by his own power, but by the power of the name of Jesus Christ. What happened? God’s word says that “instantly it left her”.
When our words are backed by the power of Jesus Christ, demons have to flee. Nothing that comes against us can stand up to this great name. But also, our lives must be aligned with the will and Word of God. We cannot be living any kind of way and expect the power of God to be working in and through our lives. Paul was doing what he was called to do. He was on a mission to strengthen others in the gospel of Jesus Christ. He had lived a previous horrible life of sin, but once he made up his mind to live for Christ, he gave his all to the ministry, as well as to his purpose that God had placed in him. As a result, he was able to speak the name of Jesus Christ and obtain immediate visible results of the move of God.
When this happens in our own lives, we must be prepared for some possible pushback from those who don’t believe or who are not happy that we are progressing in our walk with the Lord. This may present some pain or discomfort in our lives, but let’s allow God to use that for His greater good.
Let’s read further and see what happened in the life of Paul.
Acts 16:19-24 (NLT) says,
19 Her masters’ hopes of wealth were now shattered, so they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities at the marketplace. 20 “The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!” they shouted to the city officials. 21 “They are teaching customs that are illegal for us Romans to practice.”
22 A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. 23 They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. 24 So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks.
Wow! This is pretty scary and gruesome, but it was pretty much what happened during this time when you chose to go against the grain and be bold for Christ. There were so many people who were against truth, because it did not fit within their schemes and plans for advancement over others. Someone was always trying to gain the upper hand and use trickery to take advantage of those under their power.
This also happens today and we must be careful and have our eyes open, constantly on the lookout for Satan’s trickery against us within our daily lives. However, we must not back down when, through Jesus Christ, God is backing us and leading us into certain places or situations that may cause us some pain or discomfort, while we are being obedient to God’s purpose for us. Prayerfully, it is not along the scale of what was occurring in the life of Paul and Silas, but we must keep in mind that as Christ suffered, so shall we suffer in some form, as we do the will of the Father. It’s all part of the process and we must continue to stick with the Lord through the good, as well as, through the sometimes unpleasant moments of our lives.
Remember this! God always shows up according to His timing! Our pain for God’s gain on the way to Overwhelming Victory may very well be part of the progression as we continue to grow in Him.
Acts 16:25-26 (NLT) says,
25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 26 Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!
While we continue to pray and worship the Lord, even during our worst possible moments, God will shake things up and reveal His favor over our lives. The foundation will be shaken. Doors will open in our lives. This could be exposed in many different ways. Perhaps it will come to pass in the form of ministry openings to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, positions on our jobs becoming available that allow us to do better and be better while we are yet working for the kingdom of God, or even prodigal children awakening out of their deep sleep and the rejection of the gospel beginning to be reversed and manifested right before our very eyes.
From the smallest to the largest visible move of God, He will cause the chains to be broken.
Praise God! Can’t you feel Him moving right now, at this very moment? I can. Things are being shaken. Satan is trembling at the mention of the name of Jesus Christ. His days are numbered. His battles have already been lost. He is absolutely defeated.
Acts 16:27-30 (NLT) goes on to say,
27 The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. 28 But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!”
29 The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
Others are watching our lives and how God works within them, even when dark clouds are surrounding us and we appear to be in bondage and chains at the hand of Satan. This is why our actions, even as we continue through the process, must reflect our faith in Jesus Christ. Paul and Silas prayed and sung unto the Lord, even while they were in chains in prison. Through this, someone, the jailer, wanted to know what he had to do to have the life, the spiritual life that they had. Although they were locked up, he must have seen the FREEDOM that they yet possessed through Jesus Christ.
See! Their pain was for God’s gain, a soul being saved from a life of sin, right in the midst of Paul and Silas’ great moment of distress.
Acts 16:31-36 (NLT) says,
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” 32 And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. 33 Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. 34 He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God.
35 The next morning the city officials sent the police to tell the jailer, “Let those men go!” 36 So the jailer told Paul, “The city officials have said you and Silas are free to leave. Go in peace.”
Watch God Move! What Satan means for evil always turns to good when God is on the scene. We can rejoice in knowing this. We can handle the hard times knowing this. We can endure some suffering when we know this. It’s not always easy, but we have truth to hold on to. We have the promises of God to hold on to. We have that great name to call upon. Awesome! Marvelous! Amazing! Mighty is that name!
Acts 16:31-40 (NLT) says,
37 But Paul replied, “They have publicly beaten us without a trial and put us in prison—and we are Roman citizens. So now they want us to leave secretly? Certainly not! Let them come themselves to release us!”
38 When the police reported this, the city officials were alarmed to learn that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. 39 So they came to the jail and apologized to them. Then they brought them out and begged them to leave the city. 40 When Paul and Silas left the prison, they returned to the home of Lydia. There they met with the believers and encouraged them once more. Then they left town.
Ok. So this is another Wow moment! When people do us wrong, sometimes God will cause us to receive the respect that we are due, not because of who we are, but because of who He is. It is all so that He gets the glory. Paul demanded his respect and honor in the name of Jesus Christ. God allowed the people to come to them and apologize. What did Paul and Silas do? Did they try to invoke vengeance on those who had wronged them? No! They continued to do the work of the Lord. They continued to minister to believers and encourage them once more. They continued to be faithful in their assignment.
This is a great example for us. When others come against us because of our faith, we are to endure hardship, in some cases, and let God fight our battles. He will bring us out victoriously and when He does, we are not to look back or place blame but continue being faithful to the call on our life.
Our Pain for God’s Gain will lead us to our Overwhelming Victory!
“You Are More
Don’t Look Back
Finish the Process”
Romans 10:17 (NLT)
So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.
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