What if things go wrong?

The Doctor's Life Support for 24 September

‘This man could have been set free if …’

Acts 26: 32

There was no doubt about the rightness of Paul’s decision. Directed by the Spirit he had planned to visit Rome (Acts 19: 21) but things went badly wrong. Arrested in Jerusalem because of a total misunderstanding (Acts 21: 28-29), he became the object of a smear campaign and found himself instead unjustly jailed for two years in Caesarea. And then – ironically, justice at last but too late – Agrippa’s judgment was in his favour, ‘this man is not doing anything that deserves death or imprisonment.’ (Acts 26: 31) Had he made a big mistake? Could he have gone to Rome and Spain as a free agent just as he had originally planned? But Paul’s plans would never have materialised. He would have been murdered in Jerusalem before he even started. God’s plan was better. He actually used Paul’s captors to save his life, to facilitate his work and to ensure the spread of the gospel to the west. Five times the Romans saved him from death! They gave him free and safe travel – so different from his missionary journeys. Not least they guaranteed him secure accommodation for four years, with his friends coming and going at will, with freedom to preach, teach and write unhindered. (Acts 24: 23; 28: 16–24, 30–31) Are you worried about injustices in job appointments; about unfairness and favouritism; about the malicious and false things people say? Are you afraid that God‘s plan for your life is being spoilt? Our plans may not materialise, but God’s always do. The soul that on Jesus has learned to repose He will not, He cannot desert to his foes. That soul though all hell should endeavour to shake, He’ll never, no never, no never forsake. Richard Keen (c. 1787)


Written by Muriel Crouch from the UK

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