Tragedy To Triumph
Photo: © Andrew McMahon used by kind permission
All Things Work Together For Good
In ACTS 16:11-40 we see Paul and Silas being thrown into a filthy Greek prison in the Roman town of Philippi. Their crime? Causing a riot by telling people the good news about Jesus' death for our sins and resurrection from the grave so we might have eternal life with him in heaven.
You would think they would be miserable after being beaten up and thrown into a stinking prison, where they were chained to the wall with their feet shackled with iron shackles. But they are actually having a praise and worship session at the top of their voices! And that was before the earthquake happened and the prison doors flew open.
Years later Paul is in prison again, this time in the infamous Mamertine Prison in Rome. He is writing to the Christians in Philippi, who were the result of his preaching and imprisonment all those years ago. And again he's rejoicing! He says: "I want you to know dear brothers and sisters that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News." PHILIPPIANS 1:12-19.
Paul doesn't feel sorry for himself or complain it isn't fair. He says he's actually pleased, because his imprisonment has meant -
• He has been able to tell the Roman guards from Emperor Nero's palace
about Jesus Christ.
• The Christians in Rome have found a new confidence to speak about
Jesus to their friends.
Paul realises God has turned his personal suffering into a triumph of God's grace in enabling the gospel to be heard by many more people.
For a modern example of how God has turned a personal tragedy into a triumph of his grace, go to JONI.