‘Christ means everything to me in this life, and when I die I’ll have even more.’ Philippians 1:21 GWT
Roman prisons were terrible places. Offenders were stripped, flogged and placed in leg irons. Their blood-soaked clothing wasn’t changed even in the dead of winter. And the ‘inner cell’ (Acts 16:24 NIV) where Paul and Silas were imprisoned was the worst. Lack of water, cramped conditions and the stench of toilets (if that’s what you could call them) made sleep impossible. Prisoners routinely begged for death, and some even committed suicide. It was your worst nightmare! Yet ‘Paul and Silas were…singing…and the other prisoners were listening.’ (Acts 16:25 NIV) Paul’s attitude impressed his fellow inmates before his religious beliefs ever reached them. Let’s face it, anybody can sing in church, including hypocrites. But when you can praise God in the midst of pain, pressures, and problems—that’s something else. How did they do it? They had a faith perspective! It’s not what you have lost, but what you have left that counts! Paul didn’t just sing in prison, he wrote some of his best stuff there. Here’s his take on it: ‘…through my being in prison, the Lord has given most of our brothers and sisters confidence to speak God’s word more boldly and fearlessly than ever… I will speak very boldly and honour Christ… now as always, whether I live or die. Christ means everything to me in this life, and when I die I’ll have even more.’ (Philippians 1:19–21 GWT) What are you going to do with a man or woman like this? They’re beyond your threats. Their strength comes from a source that’s not diminished by outside circumstances. That’s because they have a faith perspective. And that’s what you need today too!
SoulFood: Gen 7–9, John 12:1–11, Ps 114, Prov 31:1–5
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023