“And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him” (Acts 28:30-31).
Paul’s life-story is amazing. He went from climbing the ranks of the Pharisees, to moving from prison to prison for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The thing that impresses me each time I come toward the end of the book of Acts is Paul’s total disregard for his own comfort and safety. He willingly accepted prison in order to be able to present the Gospel to unbelievers, and to go to visit the Christians in Rome. He got free transportation (even though it was a life and death trip the entire voyage) at the expense of the Roman government (because he went as a prisoner).
The entire way there on this harrowing voyage, Paul testified of the great power of God and witnessed to all on the ship. When they were ship-wrecked, Paul testified to an entire island and healed many of their sick. When he finally arrived in Rome, he again shared what Jesus Christ had done for him and invited the Romans to trust Him too. Acts 28:30-31 is an incredible verse to me. The phrase Joseph made to his brothers that had sold him into slavery in Egypt comes to my mind … “What things you meant for evil, God meant for good.”
Paul had incredible spiritual freedom from the Lord regardless of physical bondage he might have been facing! That last phrase of these two verses really caught my attention: “… no man forbidding him.” The centurion assigned to the Apostle Paul might have thought he was in control, but the Holy Spirit of God was in absolute control of the situation! That reminds me that when things are not going exactly as I have planned they should go, that God is still in control, and no one (including me) is going to stop His plan.
Even though Paul was in prison … even though he was in a foreign country … even though he would eventually be be-headed in Rome … God was still in control! Regardless of what challenges lie just ahead of you … remember that this same God is still alive and in control today! Don’t lose hope, or give up hope, or think that because a majority of people think differently than you that this is reason to give up. Press on!
“God has the right to do what He pleases, when He pleases.” – Unknown