Pastor Ryan used the persecution that Paul and Silas experienced to teach us three opportunities God might use through our suffering. While being faithful to the Holy Spirit’s leading, Paul and Silas were arrested, beaten with rods, and thrown into the inner cell of a prison.
Pastor Ryan reminded us that we should never wish for suffering, but that we don’t want to waste the opportunities that God might use.
“And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison…”
1. The Opportunity for Pure Praise
God is most honored and worshiped when we express our love to Him during times of suffering. It’s pure love when we sing Holy, Holy, Holy, Is the Lord God Almighty while under duress.
During the Worship Service time we were encouraged to remember a time, present or past, when we were suffering, and to offer the praise of Holy, Holy, Holy to the Lord. Share that experience with those around you.
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God.” (Acts 16:25)
2. The Opportunity for God to Work in Supernatural Ways
A time of crisis provides the context for God to work a miracle. This is a time for us to realize that God is in control of all our circumstance, even during suffering. We can begin to have spiritual eyes and see circumstances from God’s perspective.
As you remember a time of suffering can you now see God’s hand at work in that time? Share that time with those close to you.
“…and suddenly there was a great earthquake…” (Acts 16:26)
3. Suffering Brings the Opportunity for Others to See Christ in You
Suffering allows us the opportunity to show Christ in a powerful way to an unbeliever, or doubter. This may be the best opportunity for us to extend the saving grace of Jesus Christ to another.
Can you share an experience when you saw the power of the Gospel extended during a time of suffering?
“And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.” (Acts 16:34)