Great Joy and Comfort Out of Trouble
Some of the greatest experiences of God’s grace and joy, and some of the greatest words of comfort and joy to God’s children have come out the adversity, trouble, and persecution of saints. For example, Paul was arrested and sent to Rome where he was in bonds when the Holy Spirit inspired him to write the “prison epistles” of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. This is another of the many, many examples of our great and sovereign God overruling the evil of men for His glory and our good. While Paul was in prison in Rome he was allowed to preach “the kingdom of God” and teach “those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him” (Acts 28:31).
Paul’s heart and goal was to preach Christ and Him crucified, and he did so even while in the darkest of circumstances. He did not change his message to fit the desires of men. Notice how the preaching of the kingdom of God is directly connected with the doctrine concerning Jesus Christ – His glorious Person, His mediatorial offices, His finished work of redemption, His righteousness imputed, and all the things pertaining to eternal life and glory in Him. This was Paul’s whole message – CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED – salvation by God’s grace in Christ. This is the great message of joy and comfort to sinners in need of mercy and grace. Paul preached it boldly whether in times of peace or in times of trouble. God’s grace and power enabled him to do so. Let us pray that God will enable us to do the same as we live for Christ.