CHAINS! I really hadn’t thought much about chains lately until I read this quote in my devotional reading, “If Joseph had not been Egypt’s prisoner, he had never been Egypt’s governor. The iron chain about his feet ushered in the golden chain about his neck,” (Author unknown). Now that is a great statement and the reality of that is echoed in the pages of Scripture. The Apostle Pau did some of his greatest thinking and writing while in prison in chains. The bible letters of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon were written while Paul was in prison. Sometimes chains placed on God’s servants, such as the Apostle Peter, were used to demonstrate the power of God over the acts of mankind. Acts 12:3-19 tells us that Peter was arrested and placed in prison “bound with two chains” and guarded by soldiers. But the night before his trial God sent an angel to Peter, his chains fell off, and Peter followed him out of prison. Even Peter had a hard time believing what was happening; “he thought he was seeing a vision” (Acts 12:9 NIV).
Today we see many prisoners confined in our jails and prisons turning to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord through the modern day Christian prison ministries. We rejoice with them. Chains also often come into a Christian’s daily life; not the kind made of metal or modern day materials but rather consisting of life events that often confine or restrict our activities, or affect our abilities to function normally. These chains may be caused by accidents, health issues, or other life events too numerous to mention. How we respond to those things will determine how God will use us for His glory and His ministry through our lives. Paul used his confinement to bless the Church of Jesus Christ down through the ages through taking up his pen and giving us God’s message. Peter’s experience, though Peter was unsure of what was happening, blessed the church locally in Jerusalem and has demonstrated down through the ages God’s unfettered power. Chains may be actual or figurative but they are chains none the less. Our response to them will determine the outcome of our lives because as Christians we know this, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose,” (Romans 8:28 NIV). The chain of today will enhance the golden chain of heaven as we are “conformed to the image of His Son,” (Romans 8:29 NIV).