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Going from Being Reamed to Being Right

posted Jun 1, 2014, 6:58 PM by Website Administrator   [ updated Jun 1, 2014, 6:58 PM ]
March 16, 2014  
Key Passage: Acts 16:11-40

“Going from Being Reamed to Being Right”

John Piper once said, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”  If that’s the case, why are so many Christians grumbling, discontented people?  Like the children of Israel in the wilderness, they think they’d be happier back in the slavery of Egypt than to be with God and His provision in the wilderness; frankly, I fall into that category a lot more often than I’d like.  Cultivating joy in the Lord every day should be mandatory for all of us who claim Christ as Comforter, but it’s much easier to say than it is to do.  A cheerful, joyous spirit doesn’t depend on having wonderful, trouble free- circumstances (though the false teaching of the “Health, Wealth and Prosperity” movement would beg to differ).  Let’s be honest: we will never grow up, we’ll never be what God wants us to be, without some form of suffering and/or injustice.  When we finally come to grips with that fact … better yet, when we act on it, we can finally begin to grow up as followers of Christ.

Going from Being Reamed to Being Right…Two lessons to keep in mind as we suffer unjustly – 

1. Count on it: you WILL be treated wrongly because you are a Follower of Christ …

Let’s consider the ways Paul and Silas were mistreated:

They were falsely accused (Acts 16:19)
They experienced racial prejudice (Acts 16:20)
Their rights were violated (Acts 16:22)
Finally, they were severely beaten and jailed (Acts 16: 23-24)

2. When you’re treated wrongly, entrust your soul to a faithful Creator in doing what is right …
      (See also 1 Peter 4:19)

When you are treated wrongly:

Keep your joy in the Lord a priority (Acts 16:25)
Keep your witness to others in mind (Acts 16:25b; 30-32)
Trust the sovereign, all-powerful God to work for His glory (Acts 16:33-34)
Know when and why to stand up for your rights (Acts 16:37)

Q: How can we know when it’s right to defend ourselves and when should we simply yield our rights?

Q: Is depression a sin?  How can a person be “sorrowful yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10)?

Q: What are some practical steps toward deepening our daily joy in the Lord?

Bottom Line: The real issue here is, when treated wrongly, do you trust in a sovereign, omnipotent God who could have prevented this situation if He had so willed?  If you say you do, then the next issue is to pray, “Lord, use this difficult situation for Your glory to further Your purpose.”  Keep in mind, whenever Paul wrote as a prisoner, he never said – “Paul, a prisoner of that jerk Caesar who has unjustly put me in prison.”  No, it was always, “Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus.”  He trusted in the sovereign and all-powerful God, who could have easily overruled any of the difficulties Paul was placed in.  Granted, Paul was an incredibly mature believer … if we have any hope of moving onto maturity in Christ, at some point we’ve got to have the same mindset … that regardless of circumstances, God’s in control, He cares about what we’re going through, and He loves us.