Paul was a prison of the Romans but he saw himself as a prisoner of the Lord. Not by the Romans or antagonists. In a way we are all prisoners of the Lord.
Calvinists who believes that God plans everything that happen to us, would naturally think “If I’m in prison then God put me here- If I’m in trouble God made it happen to me.” Whereas the hyper faith person might say “If I’m in prison then the devil did it to me. I lost my job so the devil is attacking me.” But the apostles took a more balanced view. Yes there is a devil working against us, so we should pray and praise God till He breaks us out but in the meantime God is allowing the circumstances for His purpose. The enemy might try to put us out of action but God is bigger than the devil, so if it seems we are imprisoned by restrictions, confinements or difficult circumstances, God is going to work something out of it that is for our good. Though not invited or initiated by God it can still be turned for good.
Perhaps some prisons are initiated by God for our good. What part of Joseph’s troubles would we spare him; from the pit to the prison? All were needed as God set him up for promotion. Many times what seem a set back to us, is really a set up by our Father.
Some prisons, like Jonah’s imprisonment in the fish for a time, are brought on by our failures and God in His mercy turns them for our good. God was working to make him a success – for him to not only complete his mission in Nineveh but also, as he sat under the shady vine that died, Jonah learn the importance of love.
Indeed some prisons are the result of the devil but Paul is confident still. “I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.”
Friends, prisoners of the Lord, the Holy Spirit is going to deliver you from your prison and if He has puts you into a difficult situation it will be for a limited time and for a specific purpose because God hasn’t finished with you yet. It is often the way God does things that “princes come out of prison to reign.” Ecclesiastes 4.14. Maybe the door will begin to open today!


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