TODAY'S WORD 4U 2DAY
What does God want? (3)‘The Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.’ Acts 20:23 NIV
About 75 percent of believers now live in developing countries, often in anti-Christian environments. Xu Yonghai is one of them. He worked to make house churches legal in China. The government responded by locking him up for two years in an eight-by-eight-foot cell in a Beijing prison. There was no bathroom, only a pipe in a corner that poured water onto the concrete. ‘My cell was the last stop for prisoners sentenced to die,’ he said. ‘At times there were as many as three other prisoners in the tiny damp room, awaiting their date with the executioner.’ Yonghai survived through prayer, meditation, and writing. Using a bar of soap to write on the walls of his cell, he outlined the major points of a book about God. When he was finished, he committed the thoughts to memory, and upon his release he turned his prison notes into a fifty-thousand-word book called God the Creator. More often than not, your difficulties and hardships you’re in the will of God rather than out of it! Paul writes: ‘I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace’ (vv. 23-24 NIV). That last word, grace. That’s the key - whether you’re in prison like Paul or Yonghai, or living free and able to talk about Jesus openly. It’s all grace. No matter how difficult the will of God might look to you right now, you can do it, drawing each day on His limitless supply of grace.
What’s the greatest hardship you’re facing today? How can you ‘go above’ it, like Paul and Yonghai, to see what God might be doing through you in the middle of the pain?