God’s MO is always different from how we think He should act.

In Acts 18:9-10 in the Bible, Paul receives a vision from God saying to him:

“Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.”

Since Paul was being harassed by the Jews in the city of Corinth, this vision from the Lord must have been pretty comforting. “No one is going to attack and harm you”, isn’t that what God said? That sounds great!

I love those kinds of messages from God. God is going to take care of the enemies, and it’s going to be smooth sailing…

But the next thing you know, two verses later, the Bible says, “While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him into court.”

God, what happened? You said no one was going to attack, but now there were not just a few people abusing Paul, but a united effort to attack him. That means the attack was stronger than before the vision. Not only did they attack, they actually succeeded in bringing a lawsuit on him.

If I was Paul, I would be pretty confused and lose heart. Maybe he was too, I don’t know. But even if he was discouraged, he did not give up.

In writing to the Corinthians later, Paul said, “When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly.” (ICor 4:12-13)

Paul rode out the attack and God gave him victory.

When Gallio the proconsul heard the case brought against Paul, he threw it out of court. “Settle the matter yourselves,” he said, “I will not be the judge of such things.” (Acts 18:15)

Paul’s enemies were hoping that by bringing a complaint against Paul’s preaching, a law would be passed to prohibit the preaching of the gospel. All preaching of Christ would be stopped. Instead, the decision by Gallio to not regulate religion allowed for freedom of religion, and opened the door for Christ to be preached freely.

Wow! Now that’s a greater fulfillment of God’s promise to Paul. The vision wasn’t just promising to keep Paul from attacks and harm, but all the people that God has in the city could continue to preach the gospel.

Paul says in IICor 4:17, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” Yes, Paul had to endure the attacks and troubles even though God seemed to have said he will not be attacked. But actually God said he will not be attacked and harmed.

Paul had committed his life to preach the gospel. God did not allow anyone to attack and harm what Paul was called to do. God fulfilled his promise in a greater way than what Paul expected.

Sometimes I don’t like the way God handles things. It’s never what I expected. It’s always harder than I would want my life to be. I want smooth sailing. I am concern for my own personal comfort.

But the way God works always fulfills a greater purpose, beyond what I could imagine. Hey, He is pretty wise. I guess I can trust Him.

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