Going Through Trouble
During my younger Christian years I was taught that if you walked in obedience you would be blessed and everything would be perfect. If you were experiencing difficulty or trouble, then you had missed it somewhere. After all as a Christian we are to be blessed at all we put our hand to. It became a powerful tool that prevents you stepping out into your divine destiny. Why would I say that? Stay with me.
Hopefully, we can agree that Paul walked in obedience and gave his life to preach the Gospel. In Acts chapter sixteen we see him passing through Galatia. He is having great success and the churches are growing in numbers and faith. So far so good! But let’s keep reading. Paul intends to preach in Asia and suddenly the Holy Spirit says, NO!” If you take time to think about that it will mess with your theology. Paul by divine command is sent to preach the Gospel to everyone. Then suddenly the Holy Spirit tells him not to preach the Gospel in Asia.
“And after they came to Mysia they were trying to go into Bithynia and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them.”
Acts 16: 7
Jesus says “NO!” This is going great! Most of us would fail to hear that “no,” and if we did it would not fit into our opinion of how things are supposed to go, so we would just keep pushing on. Learning to hear divine “NO’s” are critical to our success. Many heroes of faith tried to do things that could have derailed their ministry. Some pressed forward and it did hurt their personally and their ministry. His ways are not ours and He sees and knows stuff we don’t.
We like “yeses.” They are positive and encouraging. In our own lives we like to say yes but if we learnt to say no first it would save us from a lot of difficult situations. We don’t know everything and we like to say yes, but when things change we are often forced to make our yeses a no. It is easier for us to make a no a yes than a yes a no.
But when heaven says, ‘no,” it means ‘no.” We need to bow to the authority of heaven.
However, we often interrupt circumstances as a divine no. What do I mean now? Paul if we continue reading gets a vision to go to Macedonia. He obeys, and it looks like success. He wins the first European convert, Lydia. Then he encounters a demon possessed lady whom he finally casts the devil out of her. What happens? He is thrown into prison.
Hold on! He was walking in obedience and now everything is starting to go wrong. They were beaten and put in chains. As you look at the life of Paul you will see that a lot of the time he has difficult times that we too often would have interrupted as a ‘no,” and quit. Paul knew when heaven was saying no and when it was the enemy stirring up trouble. Paul learnt to stick to his post regardless of the circumstances and to go through trouble and not around it.
Jesus in John 14: 1, tells us not to let our hearts be troubled. Then in chapter sixteen He says…
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
John 16: 33
I love summer days when it is warm, and I can sit outside and enjoy it sitting in the shade with a gentle breeze blowing. I feel like I am in heaven. I like it when things seem to just go right. But, I hate difficult days and I really don’t like tribulation.
Listen to these encouraging words…
“Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.”
Hebrews 5: 8
No, obedience means all goes well for us at least I thought! Obedience releases the resources of heaven to accomplish what we need to do and to go through trouble. Back in Acts sixteen, what does Paul and Silas do while in prison? Sit and complain wondering where they missed it? Give up? Repent?
“But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.”
Acts 16: 25
They are praising out loud! Now quiet prayers but loud and bold prayers so that the prisoners heard them. They were rejoicing at the darkest hour and glorifying God. The enemy thought he would so discourage them as to stop them, but Paul stays true to his post and praises. Paul believed that if God was with Him, he went. The anointing and presence of God were proof positive and not his circumstances. No matter what he faced he always rejoiced and knew he