Skip HeitzigSkip Heitzig

Instagram   know God | meet skip  

DevoMail with Skip Heitzig



Subscribe RSS

Good Outcome

by Skip Heitzig |
For most of the last year, three young Americans have been in jail in Tehran. They were hiking in Iraq's Kurdish area and accidentally crossed over into Iran, where they were captured and charged with espionage. This week, we heard that two of them, Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd, have become engaged to each other. The third, Josh Fattal, will be best man at their wedding when they are released.

The apostle Paul also had experience with being jailed on trumped-up charges. In Acts 16, Paul comes to Philippi, and when he speaks to a group of women, a businesswoman named Lydia is saved. But things go downhill from there. A young girl is following them who is demon-possessed, and Paul casts out the demon. Then the slave owners get angry because they've been using her for fortune telling. They say Paul and Silas are troublemakers who are flouting Roman law, and the magistrates order Paul and Silas to be beaten and thrown in jail.

And yet Paul says that every time he thinks about the gospel coming to Philippi he is joyful (see Philippians 1). It would make more sense to say, "Every time I think about Philippi I get sick to my stomach." But he doesn't. He's thankful for what the gospel produced, that the family of God got extended. He's thankful that Lydia was saved, and that a young girl was delivered. And he's thankful for the salvation of the Philippian jailer and his family.

Now here's my point: Paul's joy was because of the growth in the family of God, in spite of what happened to him personally. He doesn't look back and remember all the bad stuff; he remembers all the good stuff. The gospel spread.

Writing from Rome (in another jail), Paul said, "The things that have happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel" (Philippians 1:12). He went on that it was evident to all "that my chains are in Christ" (v. 13). What would happen to us if we decided to view everything through that lens? How could you have anything but joy when you did that?

We pray for the safety of the Americans in Iran, and for their deliverance from prison. But I hope this young couple will be able to look back at their experience with some measure of joy because of their union.

Likewise, I want to encourage you to look at the things that happen in your life through the lens of how God is working. And He is always working for good (Romans 8:28).

In His strong love,

Skip Heitzig

Special Offer

Image of August 2017 Resource Experience God's Word like never before with the Deep & Wide collection, a compilation of 500 teachings by Skip Heitzig. These messages come on a set of eight MP3 CDs that can be played on an MP3-compatible device.

Purchase this offer

The Daily God Book: Through the Bible in 365 Days

The Daily God Book: Through the Bible in 365 DaysThe Daily God Book: Through the Bible in 365 Days is an innovative devotional by Skip Heitzig. In it, you'll find unique insights on key stories and chapters throughout the Bible, along with points to consider as you read.

$15.00 Purchase this offer

Share DevoMail

Image of woman sharing If you have been blessed by this DevoMail, send it to a friend and share the good news and encouragement that is found in God’s Word.