It's My Party

 
Back in the mid '60's there was a song that expressed an attitude that was wide spread in the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, up till and including today. The name of that song was ' its my party and I'll cry if I want to ' it goes on and says ' you would cry too if it happened to you'.
I know of a person who once had, and maybe I should confess, I have had the same attitude of despair when things came up that I had no control over. Often times when trying to encourage this person, the answer I got was ' leave me alone '. They just wanted to have their own private pity party and get sympathy from someone.  Have we been there?
Life can be rough. We can have some bad deals in our lives.
Sometimes it might seem we are doing everything right and our world just falls apart. We do good and receive evil.
Now Paul and Silas were on a mission trip, doing good, working for the Lord in a town call Philippi.

Acts 16:16    And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
Acts 16:17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
Acts 16:18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
Acts 16:19    And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,
Acts 16:20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,
Acts 16:21 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.
Acts 16:22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
Acts 16:23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely:
Acts 16:24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

If anyone had a right to have a pity party, Paul and Silas perhaps had the right from our perspective. They had many stripes laid on them, placed in a dungeon, and had their feet fast in stocks. Today it would be one of those, Call my Lawyer! situations.
What did they do wrong? They freed the girl from enslavement to a demon. Was that illegal?
Where was God? Had the Lord they Worshiped and served left them?  

Luke 12:6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
Luke 12:7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Is our present sufferings worth what we will enjoy in His presence. It will be worth it all when we see Jesus.

2 Cor. 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Cor. 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

Matt. 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

When Paul weighed his suffering against the future glory in Christ Jesus, the sufferings were bearable.

Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Now back to that prison, and the party was not a pity party but a party with singing.

Acts 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
Acts 16:26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.
Acts 16:27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
Acts 16:28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
Acts 16:29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
Acts 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Acts 16:32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
Acts 16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
Acts 16:34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

Our sufferings can be opportunities

In the same town Paul later gave instructions;

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Philippians 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Our bodies age. I know that. If we are His, if we are born again, we have a new body waiting for us.
A body that will not grow old.

 

A Suggested Prayer