Confidence, in the Worst of Circumstances!
CONFIDENCE IN THE WORST OF CIRCUMSTANCES!
Do you like to pretend? Great, me too! Now, imagine this with me …
We are in prison. Not just any prison, but one that is filthy, smelly, damp and just downright horrible! Wow, we must have done something really bad, right? No, actually we were arrested for trying to help a young woman who was being taken advantage of, and with the power of God, we were able to help set her free. That’s good, right? Yes, very good. BUT there were some really bad people who had us arrested anyway, and now we sit in this horrible prison, shackled and alone. The only company we have now are the rats, that we have to fend off pretty often.
If we were most people, we would be screaming out in objection. “Hey, anyone out there, we have been arrested and brought here unfairly! We want to speak to our lawyer!”
But no, somehow we find a way to sing! That’s right, I said sing! We begin to sing praises to God. We don’t understand our circumstances and certainly aren’t enjoying them, but we know that God has a plan in everything, and we still have confidence in Him, even though singing and praising seems really strange about now.
Right in the middle of one of our songs, the ground begins to rumble. Another inmate somewhere in the prison shouts “Earthquake!”
Our song turns into a prayer, and we hold on tight as everything begins to shake violently! When the dust clears and the rubble settles, we are okay but our prison cell doors are gone! We look at each other with wide eyes. We could leave, but that wouldn’t be right.
Other inmates start to escape, but we convince them to stay.
Right about then, a very worried jail keeper rushes in, about to take his life. He knows that if a prisoner escapes under his watch, his life will be taken anyway.
We shout for him to stop, and he stops. He doesn’t take his life. Instead, he sees that all inmates are still in the prison, even though they all could have easily escaped. He asks why, and we are quick to share with him the confidence we had in God, who no doubt sent the earthquake and this opportunity for him to accept Christ. And guess what? That’s exactly what he and his family did!
Now, here’s the question that is really interesting … How in the world did we find the confidence to sing in those circumstances?? How did we know that our “against the grain” and confident actions would end up with an entire family coming to Christ?
First, we need to take a look at what the word “confidence” means. When I looked up the definition in the dictionary, I got really excited! My dictionary said it like this … “the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.” Can you say AWESOME??
You see, the courage that Paul and Silas (who you and I were playing in our little imagination) had in the book of Acts was beyond normal. It would have been completely expected for them to complain and even ultimately try to escape, but they didn’t, because they had placed their confidence in God. They didn’t know what was happening, or why it was happening to them, but they knew they could rely on someone who would NEVER let them down! That someone was their God.
Even though I enjoyed pretending with you on our little field trip to this prison, chances are, we won’t find ourselves in such terrible circumstances, like Paul and Silas did. We can be sure of one thing, though. Our faith WILL be tested. We will often feel like we are struggling with situations that we just can’t improve. It is in those tough times that it is good to remember that God is truly someone who can ALWAYS be trusted. We can be 100% confident in that!
"In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge."
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