All the Difference (Acts 16:28)

But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!”

Acts 16:28

Paul and his companions had been publicly beaten, then thrown into prison. They could have been angry with law enforcement for not taking “appropriate action,” but the jailer had not been present at the beatings, as far as Acts tells me. They could have been sullen and complained and generally been disagreeable to be around, instead they were praying and singing hymns and were such agreeable people to be around that the earthquake that resulted in every prisoner’s door being opened and every shackle loosed did nothing to move those people — every last one stayed put in the prison listening to Paul and Silas and Luke and whomever else was with them as they prayed and praised. Their focus on God and their peace in a challenging situation saved a man’s life and his soul.

Life is going to be challenging sometimes. How I deal with those challenges might make all the difference in the world. If I focus on God and pray and praise Him despite my disagreeable circumstances, then I may have opportunity to save a life or — more importantly — be a part of saving someone’s soul. I need to remember that everything that happens to me; every circumstance of life had to be approved by God for me. It is like those stamps that certifying agencies place on things — Approved for use in such-and-so application and location and blah-blah-blah. God has done precisely that with everything that arrives in my life. every circumstance bears a stamp: Certified by God for use in the life of DC to conform him to the image of Christ; to purge the sin from his life; to draw him closer to his God and Father.

When God makes with the miraculous and the doors open and the shackles drop: Will I stay put until God tells me to move?

Let me focus on God’s hand in every circumstance of my life and remain where He has placed me until He bids me move. It might make all the difference in the world for someone.


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