Living Above your Circumstances

I currently am reading through the book of Acts and I find it to be an amazing book to read! This week I've been reading about Paul and all the trials he went through and one phrase has been standing out to me:

"after encouraging them he left."

This phrase showed up twice; both times after Paul had been persecuted. The first time it occured was in Acts 16. Paul and Silas had been taken as prisoners and had been beaten. They then had been put in prison and were singing songs of praise. Then God sent an earthquake and shook off their chains. They didn't walk out of prison and take "their rights to be free" rather they took the opportunity to minister to the prison guard and tell them the Good News. The next day after they were released from prison they went back to Lydia's house and they (Paul and Silas) encouraged the believers.

The second time it happened was in Acts 20. The phrase "he encouraged them" followed a time when Paul was being led away from a crowd that was trying to kill him. Once the soldiers knew he was a Roman citizen they released him and he went back to the believers and he encouraged them.

Both of these situations seem backwards to me and to what I've experienced in life. When I have gone through a tough circumstance, I'm the one who is looking to be encouraged. But Paul who went through the difficult circumstances was instead encouraging others. In other writings, we get some hints as to why he is able to do this:

In Acts 21 a prophecy was shared that Paul would be taken prisoner in Jerusalem and beaten. The believers were very upset by this but here is Paul's response:

Why are you weeping and breaking my heart?
I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem
for the name of the Lord Jesus. (21:20)

He lived in such a way that his life was not his own and he would be willing to do anything for the name of Jesus.

Then in Philippians 4:11b-13 he says,

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.
I have learned the secret of being content in any and
every situation, whether well fed or hungry,
whether living in plenty or in want.
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Paul didn't let his circumstances define his faith, rather he let his faith define his attitude through any circumstance. He didn't get downhearted and discouraged and believe that God had abandoned Him. Instead, he lived in every circumstance THROUGH Him. Everyone knows "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength" verse but did you know those verses preceded it? That we can be content in whatever circumstance we go
through because of Him? Often in my life, I think I will be content when .............. happens. Paul's example however has challenged me to reconsider how I walk through any and every circumstance. It has also shown me that Christ truly offers the opportunity to live in a place of contentment through Him with the strength that He provides.

PS Thanks Ms. Latina and Karen for also being part of the inspiration behind this post. Watching the 2 of you walking through your current circumstances have also taught me a thing or two:)

In Christ,


  1. Thank you Jaime for this post.

    Those verses spoke to me. I find that whenever I am going through obstacles, Christ always puts someone in my path who needs Him. When I glorify His name and minister to their needs, I find I am always uplifted!

    Its as if I am speaking the words He wants ME to hear as well. Its always an affirmation to how GREAT He truly is.


    Btw you inspire me more than you realize =)

  2. Jaime, I agree with Ms Latina's comment about the Lord putting people in our path, when we might be going through obstacles.. As health keeps me from being in the presence of other believers at church, He has moved various " online " people into my path, where they have been a blessing, or I have been a blessing to them in some way. I believe that He has led me to trusting Him more thru this time, because of others like your blog post, that uplift, and encourage me to grow in His grace, and Word. thanks sister, you are most awesome!!


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