The Secret to Having Peace

Is being comfortable with trusting God.

Acts 16:6-10 (ESV)

And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

Here we see Paul and Silas bounce around Turkey like a pinball, never knowing where God’s going to send them next. Yet Paul never complains.

This begins with them being forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia, so they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia. Next, when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.

OK so far. Paul has dealt with all these setbacks, but look at what happens next. Paul has a vision where a man of Macedonia says, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” and he jumps at the chance. And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

He actually likes getting jerked around like this!

This is a perfect example of spiritual maturity. All the surprises in Paul’s life can either be annoying or exciting, depending on his attitude. Paul, as a mature Christian, enjoys the wild goose chases God sends him on. These setbacks aren’t setbacks at all; they’re opportunities.

Paul is a servant of Christ or, as he likes to say it, a slave. He’s been called to suffer for the Lord. But this is definitely not suffering, and in any case, Paul is perfectly happy letting God run things. Still, he knows suffering is in his future, and he’s prepared for that too. He trusts God.

In the meantime, this is fun.


Paul’s attitude isn’t supposed to be all that amazing; it’s just how he feels. That feeling is rooted in trust. Paul, deep in his heart, totally trusts God – so he doesn’t get upset over every little change in plans.

He didn’t learn this in Sunday School; he learned it on the road. The secret to spiritual maturity is to serve Christ seriously enough that you find out He can be trusted. You don’t learn this by memorizing doctrine.

Every one of us has a calling – a calling to do something that will teach us to trust Him. Do you know what yours is? Few people do. If you don’t, or are unsure about it, ask God to make His calling for you clearer. If you already know what it is (or was) ask Him to show you the next step.

And we can all ask him to push us to act on our calling more vigorously.


The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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