The Deception of Tribulation
Daily Devotional for July 12th
And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. Acts 16:23-25
The majority of circumstances that we face cause us to feel disenfranchised and alienated from God. The religious world has even tried to convince us that, if God was on your side, then He would not allow any bad things to come to you. This type of teaching leaves us constantly questioning if God is for us or not. The bible does not teach this. As a matter of fact, Jesus foretold to all of His disciples that “If they have persecuted me, they will also you.” John 15:20.
The truth is bad things do happen to God’s people. Times of persecution will come. In the world you shall have tribulation. The greatest concern though is; what is your attitude when you are in these types of circumstances. Do you find yourself questioning God’s love for you? Do you question God’s faithfulness? In times of tribulation, the devil has deceived many Christian people that God did not have their back; i.e., God had forsaken them. If Satan has whispered these thoughts in your mind, then if you give heed to them, it may not be long before your walk with God will be greatly hindered.
Paul and Silas were walking in the will of God. They were spreading this wonderful Gospel of salvation to the world. Why then would God allow them to be beaten and thrown in prison? How would you react to these events? Most of us would take a step back and question the Lord. Some Christians have even said to the Lord “I have faithfully served you and you have allowed this!”
Don’t allow the enemy to deceive you in times of trouble. The disciples could very well have been deceived during the storm that raged while at sea. Job could have falsely accused the Lord during his great trial. Joseph could have grown bitter toward the Lord when his brothers sold him or while he was in prison. We must understand that we have an enemy and he will attack us, but God is faithful unto us friend. Paul gave us great consolation with the fact that “All things” work together for the good to them that love God. Don’t let the enemy’s lies convince you that God does not care. Jesus cares for you!
If you’re facing terrible opposition in your life today, like Paul and Silas, pray and sing praises unto God in your darkest hours. These apostles could worship God through the midnight hour because they knew that God was on their side. They did not charge the Lord for why they had been thrown in prison. They realized that the same God they had been faithful to in the good times would bring them through their hardest, darkest and deepest prisons. Tribulation did not deceive them. Don’t let troubles deceive you.