My Joy Comes from the Lord, Not My Circumstance

By: Dana Parrish

Posted: October 4, 2016

Category: Daily Devotional

So a time was set, and on that day a large number of people came to Paul’s lodging. He explained and testified about the Kingdom of God and tried to persuade them about Jesus from the Scriptures. Using the Law of Moses and the books of the prophets, he spoke to them from morning until evening. Some were persuaded by the things he said, but others did not believe. And after they had argued back and forth among themselves, they left with this final word from Paul: “The Holy Spirit was right when he said to your ancestors through Isaiah the prophet,

 ‘Go and say to this people:
When you hear what I say,

you will not understand.
When you see what I do,

you will not comprehend.
For the hearts of these people are hardened,

and their ears cannot hear,

and they have closed their eyes—
so their eyes cannot see,

and their ears cannot hear,

and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me

and let me heal them.’

 So I want you to know that this salvation from God has also been offered to the Gentiles, and they will accept it.”

 For the next two years, Paul lived in Rome at his own expense. He welcomed all who visited him, boldly proclaiming the Kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ. And no one tried to stop him. Acts 28:23-31

Wow! I mean, wow! Paul is imprisoned yet again and instead of feeling defeated or throwing in the towel he uses it for God’s glory. Fine, y’all want to keep me here? I will still preach the Good News. And he did! Talk about making lemonade out of lemons. I just got a little giddy reading this passage. It’s been a difficult day. Not that I have been imprisoned or stoned and left for dead or beaten, but in Dana terms it’s been a tough day. God has reminded me all day today that all things work for His glory and that this is all a part of his plan. I have a choice during these times. I have a choice to sit in my sadness, feeling overwhelmed OR I can say not today! Today I will choose God and all His glorious goodness. I can choose to let Him transform my heart today rather than my circumstance. So, when I read that Paul was still on fire for the Lord and determined even after being on house arrest to preach the Good News after all that he has been through till this point I just knew God was speaking to me. That always makes me feel like a little girl. Like a little girl that has just crawled into her daddy’s lap and felt the warmth of his strong arms around her. God used Paul in this passage to remind me to give each and every moment to Him. No matter how difficult the circumstance we can always praise God and use it to spread the Good News to all. Paul didn’t waste any time when he arrived in Rome spreading the Good News and neither should we.

Gracious and Loving God, please forgive me today for allowing myself to be defined by my circumstance rather than standing on your truth. I am Your child waiting to be wrapped in your warm embrace. Help me to remember that in difficult times hope is not lost. It is not lost because my joy does not come from my circumstance. My joy comes from you. It is a true blessing to share your message of salvation with everyone I meet. In Jesus Name, Amen.