When life comes at us head-on, how we react can make all the difference moving forward. For example, when someone cuts us off in traffic, we have one of two options: We can shrug our shoulders, pray for that person, and go about our day in peace, or we can become angered only to adopt the same poor driving habits to cut that person or someone else off in traffic. The latter option can lead to dire consequences such as causing an accident or, even worse, an accident with fatalities.
In the book of Acts, the author records a time when Paul and Silas were imprisoned, and around midnight, they were praying and singing hymns of praise to God while the other prisoners listened. An earthquake coincided and caused all the cell doors to open and the prisoner’s chains to unfasten. When the jailor realized the doors were open, he was sure the prisoners had escaped, so he took out his sword to commit suicide. However, Paul cried out, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” When the jailor saw that all the prisoners were still there, he fell to his knees and asked, “Sirs, What must I do the be saved?” (Acts 16:22-30)
If Paul had acted in hast, to make his escape, and indeed the other prisoners would have followed, the result would have led to the jailor’s death. Instead, by faith, Paul remained, as did the others, and the result was not the loss of a man’s life, but the salvation of his soul. Whether we realize it or not, Christians are always under the world’s microscope, and how we react to situations in life can serve to draw people closer to Christ or push them away.
Therefore, when that person cuts us off in traffic, or the boss is uptight, or whatever, let us keep James’ words in mind. James wrote, “My beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger” (James 1:19).
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“God never leaves you nor forsakes you.” I’ve heard that before. “Jesus will leave the 99 to come after you.” I’ve heard that one too. Meanwhile, fear creeps up when life hurls a season of loneliness our way, and poof! Churchy sayings hold as much weight as thin air. Believe it or not, God is cheering us on and inviting us to thrive amidst the loneliness. Yes, it’s weird and scary, but this emptiness is a safe space where you get to hear the God of everything speak the loudest. You’re safe because God is so good at owning goodness amidst our dank, confused, lonely seasons, and because of Him, you aren’t so by yourself.”