1. Hello, listening friends.
2. We are very pleased that you have tuned in today.
3. Today, many people live their lives in anxiety and fear.
4. They are constantly thinking about the worries that each new day will bring.
5. We live a life filled with tension and stress;
6. and, when something goes wrong, we say, “Why did God do this?
7. Why is God silent when I need Him the most?”
8. It is difficult for all of us to be able to rest in God
9. and to be assured that God does not leave anything to chance,
10. because God does not allow any of the details in your life to fall through the cracks.
11. God uses great things, as well as small things, to accomplish His purpose in your life;
12. but the challenge for us is to trust Him,
13. because you can be sure that, even when God is silent,
14. He is using difficult circumstances to work together for good to them who love Him,
15. because He is the God of circumstances.
16. In Acts, Chapter 23,
17. we find the Apostle Paul in a Roman prison in Jerusalem.
18. Do you think Paul was thinking that God had forsaken him?
19. Do you think he was discouraged?
20. Do you think Paul was wondering why God is silent?
21. The Bible tells us that, from the moment Paul was arrested, in Acts, Chapter 21,
22. he was never a free man again;
23. and that’s about a period of five years;
24. but God did not condemn the Apostle Paul for his thought of discouragement.
25. Instead, the Lord came to encourage him;
26. and those five years became the most productive, influential five years of Paul’s life,
27. because 2,000 years later, we are blessed by those Epistles that were written in the prison.
28. Turn with me, please, if you have your Bible, to Acts 23, verse 11.
29. The Lord personally came to Paul and said, “Take courage, Paul,
30. for as you have testified about Me in Jerusalem,
31. so you must bear witness in Rome.”
32. My listening friend, I want to tell you something of uttermost importance.
33. There are times in our lives when we are tempted to misunderstand the silence of God.
34. There are days when we confuse the silence of God for lack of caring on His part.
35. There are circumstances in life when we question the nearness of God to us.
36. While in reality, Acts 23:11 should teach us an important lesson -
37. that God is never closer to His children than when they cannot see Him.
38. How do we know that?
39. Because His Word tells us so.
40. When Abraham was about to give up on the promise of God,
41. God came to him and said, “Don’t be afraid.”
42. God’s Word tells us that, when Paul was discouraged in the prison,
43. God came and said to him, “Take courage, Paul.”
44. My listening friend, I want to tell you something that you must never forget.
45. This promise of God to Paul is also for you.
46. If you’re going through a hard time,
47. if you are experiencing darkness in your life,
48. if you are tempted to give up on God,
49. if you are wondering whether God has forgotten you,
50. God’s words to Paul are meant to be for you.
51. His encouragement to Paul is His encouragement to you.
52. His promise to Paul is His promise to you.
53. His nearness to Paul is an evidence of His nearness to you.
54. When God is silent, He is working for you.
55. He is letting things work out for your good and for His glory.
56. Secondly, when God is silent,
57. He is even using the small things to accomplish His purpose and to protect you.
58. When Paul was put in that Roman prison,
59. there were a group of men in the city known as the “zealots,”
60. and they were determined to take the law into their own hands.
61. They wanted to kill the Apostle Paul.
62. Forty of them wanted to kill one man.
63. They took an oath that they would not eat, they would not drink, they will not rest, until Paul is killed.
64. The zealots worked in secret.
65. They often disguised themselves and they never operated in the open;
66. so they hatched this plot in secret to kill Paul.
67. Oh, but the all knowing God was watching the plot.
68. He was hearing what was going on;
69. but He did not intervene supernaturally.
70. Do you think God could not swing His sword and kill all of them?
71. Sure He could have;
72. but He didn’t.
73. He could have intervened supernaturally, but He didn’t;
74. but God allowed Paul’s nephew to hear the plot and get the word to Paul;
75. and Paul sends him to the Roman captain
76. and the plot was foiled.
77. There is no telling how many times a day Satan uses people to cause us havoc in our lives.
78. There is no telling how many times a day Satan conspires to destroy the faithful servants of God.
79. There is no telling how many times a day our very lives are threatened.
80. There is no telling how many traps of temptation are set before us.
81. Only the watchful eye of our heavenly Father knows;
82. but the sovereign mercy of God foiled Satan’s plot again and again,
83. and the problem is that we just take it all for granted;
84. but listen to me, my listening friend.
85. When you put on your spiritual eyes,
86. you will recognize that there is an invisible war taking place
87. and there is an army of demons plotting to destroy you.
88. They conspire to get you to fall into temptation;
89. but, when you cry to your heavenly Father,
90. He sends a mightier army of angels.
91. He sends someone to foil Satan’s conspiracy against you;
92. and that happens time after time after time.
93. Why does God protect us?
94. So that He may give you another day to serve Him,
95. so that He may give us one more day to glorify His name,
96. so that He may give you one more day to be faithful in serving Him.
97. That is why I become so concerned when I see a person continuing to live for self,
98. when I see a person who ignores the voice of God,
99. when I see a person disregard God’s mercy,
100. because Paul said, if that attitude continues,
101. God will take you home so that He may save your soul.
102. My listening friend, please listen to me.
103. It all depends on whose hands we place our lives in.
104. A handful of dust is worthless in our hands;
105. but, in God’s hands, the dust formed Adam.
106. A slingshot and five stones in our hands would be worth very little;
107. but, in David’s hand, God brought victory to a nation.
108. A staff in your hand might be worth a few dollars;
109. but, in Moses’ hand, it parted the Red Sea;
110. and, so, here, we see Paul’s nephew, who was unnamed,
111. but, in God’s hand, he saves the Apostle Paul.
112. When God is silent, He is using even the small things.
113. Thirdly, you can trust God because He is the God of circumstances.
114. As you are listening to us by radio,
115. you may be thinking that your circumstances are working against you;
116. and you are feeling that, if circumstances were different in your life,
117. you could have done something great for God.
118. You could have triumphed over the difficulties that you are facing right now;
119. but let me tell you something very important.
120. If you are a faithful, obedient child of God,
121. your circumstances do not operate independently of God.
122. God is in control of your circumstances.
123. God is the Master of your circumstances.
124. Even when you know that you did some things to get yourself where you are,
125. God’s still the God of circumstances,
126. and He uses your circumstances.
127. He is using them right now to weave His purpose in your life.
128. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers;
129. and you say, “Why did God do that to an innocent man?”
130. God didn’t do it, but He did permit it.
131. God was using the circumstances in Joseph’s life
132. to make Joseph the second most powerful man in the world
133. so that he may save a nation,
134. so that the Messiah may be born out of that nation,
135. so that you and I may be saved today.
136. To the world, these were insignificant circumstances,
137. but not to God.
138. Things may be happening in your life that don’t make sense;
139. but they make sense to God.
140. I cannot tell you what God is doing in your circumstances,
141. but I know that God is doing something in your circumstances;
142. and, if you seem to be in darkness, like Paul was,
143. God is leading you.
144. If you are discouraged, like Paul was in that prison,
145. God is weaving His plan in your life.
146. If your circumstances appear to be puzzling, like that of Joseph,
147. God is putting the pieces of the puzzle together.
148. Even if you are disappointed and angry with God,
149. I know that He took all of that upon Himself on the cross.
150. The question is this:
151. have you surrendered your life to Jesus Christ?
152. If you are living your life your way,
153. don’t expect God to weave the circumstances into a beautiful tapestry.
154. He only does that with His children;
155. but, today, you can come to the Lord and ask to be His child.
156. You can say to Him,
157. “Lord, I have been living my life my way for far too long.
158. Today, I surrender to You.
159. Help me make sense of my circumstances,
160. because I know that you are the God of the circumstances;
161. and I pray this in Your name, Jesus.
163. Now, after you have prayed this prayer with us,
164. it is our request, and our desire is, that you would write to us and you’d tell us.
165. There are many people who are praying for you on a regular basis around the world
166. and they get very encouraged when they get news and letters from you;
167. so I look forward to getting your letters.
168. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.