At the end of today’s Bible reading, we see Paul being left in a Roman prison for two years as Governor Festus attempts to do the Jews a favor. (Acts 23:27) What might seem to be a bad situation, God uses for His glory and for Paul’s good.
Dr. Luke tells us that Paul was put in prison by Governor Felix. He gave Paul a great deal of freedom and he gave his friends access to Paul to tend to his needs. (Acts 23:23) Dr. Luke also tells us that Felix called for Paul frequently to talk with him and hoped that he might be able to exact a bribe from Paul (and his friends). One might think that a lot of time was wasted with Paul not out on the mission field. But this isn’t all of the story.
Paul’s ministry wasn’t limited to his travels telling people about Jesus and planting churches. Paul did a lot of ministry from prison. What might otherwise look like wasted time was time well-spent in ministering to the churches he had planted. How did he do that? Paul wrote a lot. As his friends visited him, he was able to send letters to the churches, raising concerns he had with bad theology to bad relationships between people to encouraging people in their faith.
During these two years, Paul was right where God wanted him to be, doing exactly what God wanted him to be doing: building churches.
Do you ever feel that you’re wasting your time, especially when it comes to doing things God has called you to do? I’ve been there and done that. But it’s important to remember that it may not seem to us that anything is going on, God may be working behind the scenes to build into you things that otherwise might not be cultivated in you and those around you.
Ask God how He would have you to spend this time. What does He want you to do during this interim time? How can you maximize this time?
It’s during those times that God seems to be silent and we feel that we’re wasting our time that we need to press into Him and learn as much as possible about God and His ways. It’s during those times that we need to dig deep into our Bibles and spend extended time in prayer. And it’s during those times that we remember to reach out to other Believers and unbelievers to build relationships and tell them about Jesus Christ.