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It is always good to remember that God is still in control and can use all things for our good.
When Jesus walked among us, the Jews were under forced Roman occupation. In response to Pilate's claim to have the authority to take His life or release Him, Jesus replied, God is in charge.
Jesus answered him, "You would have no authority over Me, if it were not given to you from above. Because of this, the one having delivered Me up to you has greater sin." John 19:11 BLB
When Paul said the following, he was referring to his Roman oppressors. A government that did not adhere to Jewish or Christian values, promoting many immoral things still seen today.
Let every soul be subject to the authorities being above him. For there is no authority except by God; but those existing are having been instituted by God. Rom 13:1 BLB
Paul submitted to Roman rule. He obeyed it to the point of imprisonment and later beheading. Paul knew, "for God so loves the world" meant God loves even our enemies. The only reasonable answer for Paul's actions is that he recognized God's higher calling and knew for sure that God was in control of his eternity. Paul's evangelism eventually led Rome to embrace Christianity, spreading it worldwide.
In the big picture, Paul knew that live or die, Christians cannot lose. We are qualified to participate in the inheritance of the Saints – Col 1:12. We remain here primarily as our Father's ambassadors to demonstrate His love and lead even our enemies to a saving knowledge of Christ, so they can't lose too. None of us know God's ways fully. But he is on the throne and sees us seated in Christ at His right hand. In this spiritual battle, His heart desires that we will invite others to join us.
Like Paul, we can walk in Jesus' peace and contentment in this struggle. He tells us to fully trust God and focus our thoughts and faith on our eternity with Christ that cannot be shaken.
by Michael Edwards
Florida, USA - firstname.lastname@example.org
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