Paul experienced some of the most intense persecution among the Apostles. He experienced chains, beatings, shipwreck, imprisonment and eventually death. Despite his trials, Paul was confident that God was with him and would never leave him alone. He turned his prison tenures, into writing sessions for the majority of the books in the New Testament. I don’t imagine that the prisons in his time had the finer necessities and comforts of some modern day prisons. Some modern prisons centre around rehabilitation and provide resources for persons to study and earn a degree for example. We can only wrap our imaginations around the prisons of Paul’s time.
“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body” (Hebrews 13:3). Paul wanted the church to consider those who were in prison or being mistreated. He goes on to expound about avoiding the love of money and learning to be content. He reminded us that God would never leave us or forsake us, no matter where we are or what we are going through. One of Satan’s strategies, is to try to convince us that God has forgotten about us. We sometimes worry that our trials, are God’s acts of punishment and feel that God is angry with us.
We have to remember, that nothing can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:35). The bible also says, that there is nowhere that we can go, where the love of God cannot reach us. “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there” (Psalm 139:8). What David was saying is that, there is no place where we are, where God is not with us. His hand of protection guides and keeps us. If you feel that you have drifted away from God and you feel separated from God, call out to him in prayer. If you feel like you have sinned against God, confess your sins to him.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). The devil will try to use guilt to make us feel separated from God. Once you cry out to God, repent and ask for his forgiveness, you can experience freedom. This is knowing that he loves you and he cares and he has placed your sins into the sea of forgetfulness and he remembers them no more. “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).