We’ve probably all heard the cliché before, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” It’s a reminder to make the best of a bad situation. Some of us are skilled at it, but it still remains elusive to a lot of us. Instead we are dragged down by the bad, or we just sit and wait for it to get worse.
Last week we began a sermon series about the Fruit of the Spirit. When the Spirit lives in us, these things should be evident in our lives. This week we will talk about joy as part of that fruit. It’s easy to be joyful when things are going well, but the book of James tells us to even find joy in trials. Paul gives us a great example of how good and joy can come from difficulty.
In Acts 28, Paul finds himself shipwrecked on the island of Malta. It would be easy and even expected for him to be upset about his imprisonment, the legitimacy of his trials and the difficulty of the journey. With all of those things already heading in the wrong direction, he is shipwrecked and now snake-bit. Literally. The people on the island are amazed that he seems unaffected by the bite. Shortly after that incident, he heals a man. Once it is clear Paul has some kind of power, those who are sick on the island begin to come to him for healing. At a time where many of us would want to focus inwardly and think about poor, pitiful me, Paul is healing people. This is one of the ways God works through the shipwreck. How is God working through our difficult experiences today? Are we trying to play a part in that work?
– Brian

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