Have you ever desired to do something great for God but He made it clear that it wasn’t the right time? Have you wondered how God could use you in your current moment? St. Paul can relate!
In this episode of “The Faith Explained,” in the “Romans: Can You Handle the Truth” series, Cale Clarke begins by dissecting St. Paul’s prayer of thanksgiving in Romans 1:8-15. Here, St. Paul expresses his gratitude for the faith of the Roman believers and his longing to visit them to impart spiritual gifts and mutual encouragement.
Cale focuses on St. Paul’s experience of delayed prayers, drawing attention to the fact that God’s responses can be affirmative, negative, or call for patience. He stresses that God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours, reminding you to trust in His wisdom even when your prayers seem unanswered. It can feel frustrating to wonder why God is delaying, but we must trust Him as best as we can.
Cale then tells you about St. Paul’s thwarted plans to visit Rome. Although he had often intended to go, he faced various hindrances, some within and some beyond his control.
He draws a parallel between St. Paul’s journey and the Israelites’ wandering in the wilderness, suggesting that both had lessons to learn about faith and trust in God. Cale then recounts the events that led to St. Paul’s imprisonment in Jerusalem and subsequently in Caesarea for over two years. He details St. Paul’s encounters with Felix, the governor, who was intrigued by St. Paul’s teachings but also hoped for a bribe to release him.
Throughout his imprisonment, St. Paul seized the opportunity to preach to Felix, focusing on themes like justice, self-control, and future judgment. Cale draws a comparison between Felix’s interest in Paul’s preaching and Herod’s fascination with John the Baptist’s message. Despite Felix’s alarm at Paul’s teachings, he continually postponed making a decision, leaving Paul in prison for two years.
Cale emphasizes the importance of making the most of the opportunities presented to you, just as St. Paul did. You can glorify God no matter how insignificant your job may seem. He suggests that Paul’s persistent preaching might have planted seeds of faith in Felix, the outcome of which is known only to God.