God At Work Through IM

Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

What obstacles are preventing you from telling others about Jesus?

I want you to know, brothers and sisters that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. Philippians 1:12-13

If you have ever tried to follow Paul throughout his missionary journeys, you know how dizzying it can feel. His travels in the Book of Acts can leave you breathless. He is constantly on the move, going from place to place.

It would seem that the worst thing that could ever happen to someone like Paul is to be stuck in the same house for two years. At the conclusion of Acts, that is exactly how we find him (Acts 28:30-31).

You can just imagine the devil’s response to Paul’s house arrest: “Now I’ve shut him up! That’ll get rid of him!” Quite the opposite happened! It was during Paul’s imprisonment that he penned some of his most noteworthy letters under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Paul was a different kind of prisoner. The soldiers who guarded him may have noticed he was not like other prisoners who cussed, screamed, agitated others, and insisted on his innocence. Instead, Paul had joy and purpose, and he just wouldn’t stop going on about Christ Jesus!

As a result of Paul’s daily ministry among these soldiers, word began to spread throughout the entire palace guard: The reason this guy is a prisoner is because of Jesus. They got the point: “He’s chained to us because he’s chained to this man Jesus Christ.” It appears that some of these guards not only heard the gospel, but they were led to faith. When they were redeployed throughout the Roman Empire, the gospel would advance to various places through them! Paul’s imprisonment might have been seen as an obstacle, but God proved it to be an opportunity.

Our work at Institutional Ministries is no different. Chaplains and volunteers meet people behind various walls who come from all walks of life. Many of them feel stuck. People who are chained to struggles, become connected to us, as we are connected to Christ. In turn, many of them now share the love of Christ with others!

The Lord turns obstacles to opportunities.

We don’t need to wait for all the circumstances in life to line up before we can talk about Jesus. You might a be Bible study leader in a county jail or prison, visiting with someone who is hospitalized, an author for GraceLinks devotions, a humble prayer warrior, or a generous heart who offers financial support. Whether you realize it or not, you are never far from someone who needs to know the amazing story of God’s grace. What might be seen as obstacles God can turn to opportunities. We join with you to thank God for the many partnership opportunities we share to connect more people to Christ.

Please consider joining us in this effort. Help us reach out to those behind the walls with the message of Jesus’ triumphant victory over the grave.

Pastor Edward Frey

Director of Ministry

Ministry Behind the Walls

Institutional Ministries is a nonprofit organization established in 1901 that carries out behind-the-walls ministry by shining the light of Jesus’ love into hearts.