It is all about perspective

The Apostle Paul had developed an amazing perspective on life.

That is how he was able to look at something like his imprisonment and say it may not look good, but it is good because God is using it.

You may think it is bad, but it is not bad. God is at work. God promised he would never leave me or forsake me. Guess what, my Philippian friends? It is true. No weapon formed against me will prosper. My God is working together for good in all things.

I believe that is why Paul was able to possess such a positive perspective of praise. He was able to see that what was happening was actually working out for good. His apparently unfortunate circumstances were being used by God to advance the gospel.

In fact, for the longest time, these guys in Rome thought Paul was their prisoner. They had no idea what God was up to. They were locking him up to a different guard every eight to 12 hours. All that did was give him the opportunity to preach the gospel to every single one of them. Who is the prisoner now? It is really all about perspective, isn’t it?

I love this quote: “Two men looked out from prison bars, one saw the mud, the other saw stars.” — Dale Carnegie (”How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”)

Two people can look at the same situation. One says this is bad. It is horrible. I can’t stand it. Another says don’t worry. God is working all things together for good. Something positive will come out of this negative situation.

Acts 16 documents one of Paul’s other imprisonments. He and Silas were on their way to a place of prayer when they encountered a woman who was possessed by an evil spirit. When Paul cast the evil spirit out of this woman, a riot broke out. Paul and Silas ended up being arrested, beaten and thrown in jail.

“The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten.” — Acts 16:22 (NIV)

I doubt any of us will be stripped of our clothes and beaten, but some of us have been stripped of our confidence. Others have been stripped of their faith. You’ll probably never be beaten with rods, but you have been beaten down with anxiety and doubt. Perhaps you have been beaten down with doubt. We’ll learn more about how to overcome our anxiety next time.

Steve Greene is the lead pastor of The Point in Seymour. Read his blog at or email him at [email protected] Send comments to [email protected]