Irvin Wasswa – Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC

Acts 24:22-27
But Felix, having a rather accurate knowledge of the Way, put them off, saying, “When Lysias the tribune comes down, I will decide your case.”23 Then he gave orders to the centurion that he should be kept in custody but have some liberty, and that none of his friends should be prevented from attending to his needs.

24 After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you.” 26 At the same time he hoped that money would be given him by Paul. So he sent for him often and conversed with him. 27 When two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And desiring to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison.

We have all heard that famous saying: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” The saying is referring to the action of when life gets difficult, instead of sitting and pouting, pick yourself up by the bootstraps and make the most of the lot you have been given.

There is a great principle that can be found in such a statement.  One does not have to be a product of all of his life’s misfortunes, especially those of us who are followers of Jesus. Here’s the truth: When we are in Christ our circumstances do not have to define us. Through the power of God in us, we have the power to choose joy in difficult times. We have the opportunity to make lemonade out of the lemons of life. Here in Acts 24 Paul was faced with a life circumstance that was pretty tough. He was currently facing persecution and jailed for following Jesus. The guys he ran with now were persecuting him and calling for his head! He has gone through a long court process having to defend himself several times in a span of a few chapters (Acts 21-26).

In the middle of this terrible process, God opened up doors for Paul to share the Gospel message. He was now forced to give a defense to Governor Felix, who was the Roman governor over the region of Judea. After he gives his defense he is still ordered to be jailed but here’s the cool thing: the Bible says that there were several times that Felix and his wife came up to visit Paul, and Paul was able to share the Gospel with them! The Roman Governor of Judea and his wife had the chance to hear the Gospel several different times while Paul was imprisoned! How cool is that?

Here’s the thing–It would’ve been easy for Paul to sit and sulk there in the jailhouse. It would’ve been easy for Paul to pout and be angry at God for being jailed. Instead he allowed for God to make “lemonade” out of his situation. Though he was locked up in jail, he took the opportunity the Lord gave him to share about the One who made him spiritually free. Instead of drowning in his discouragement because of what he didn’t have (Physical Freedom), he focused on the opportunity the Lord placed before him to share what he did have (The Gospel) to people who were in need of it. Paul saw that God had a plan in all of this. Even though it may have not made sense to him, God used it for something good. Paul chose to make lemonade out of the lemons in his life.

Listen friend, let me encourage you today to let God make lemonade out of the lemons of your life. It is very easy to allow for the difficult circumstances of life to shift our attitudes and forget the One who is in control of it all. As Christians, we do not grieve as those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). The Gospel changes our perspective on difficult circumstances! We have a new mindset (Colossians 3:1-4) and with that should come a new attitude. We don’t have to live as victims because through the Cross and Jesus’ resurrection we have victory! (1 Corinthians 15:50-58)

Perhaps God brought you through that difficult season you have gone through to encourage a fellow brother or sister in the Lord who is in that same season of life. Perhaps God has you at that job that seems monotonous to share hope with that difficult to work with co-worker. Maybe you are going through that trial to share a word of encouragement to that friend who may be going through the same thing and is in desperate need of hope. Listen, life may have you in a difficult spot, but remember that God is sovereign and still in control! Let’s choose to make lemonade today!

Prayer for Today:
Lord, thank you for your goodness. I praise you for you are sovereign and in control of all things including my life. Help me to see that even though tough things that may happen in my life, you look to work out for our good. Help me to cling to the hope I have in You and share that with others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Song of Worship: Sovereign Over Us- Shane and Shane