Can you see beyond your current conditions?

Paul and Silas were thrown into prison for preaching the truth.

Now, I want you to try to visualize this. They’re in prison after being beaten. Maybe one of them has a broken or bloody nose. I could imagine a tooth or two might have been missing. There might be a couple of broken ribs and maybe some dried blood on their faces. These guys have been through the wringer.

Think about the significance of what had taken place. Consider their physical condition. Picture them laying there on a filthy prison floor. The circumstances are dismal. It is dark and to most, depressing. If you haven’t heard the story before, you would never guess what happened next. It was midnight, and they decided to sing.

Most of us would be looking at their situation through the lens of anxiety. These guys have worship on their minds. They are looking at life from a very different perspective. Instead of looking at what was wrong, Paul and Silas decided to focus on what was right. I suspect most of us would like to do better at this. I know I do.

Our situation may seem dark and hopeless, but it helps to keep our eye on the bigger picture. Paul provides a glimpse into the background of this positive perspective in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.”

I want to learn to focus on what’s right, not what’s wrong. See the big picture. Keep things in their proper perspective. Even though that may not be your natural inclination, it is something we can all choose, and we can all learn if we are willing. We must be intentional about the choice to see things from a better perspective.

Even after being beaten, falsely charged and imprisoned, Paul and Silas were still able to praise God. Outwardly, it was a dark and discouraging situation. But somehow, these guys were able to see beyond the current conditions. Their focus was on positivity and praise.

We’ll learn more about how they did that next time.

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