“Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.” Ephesians 5:16 (NLT)
One of the characteristics of successful people is that they don’t waste time. They make the most of every opportunity regardless of the circumstances. How do you do that? One of my Bible heroes is Paul, the apostle. He was a giant in the faith! When he wrote to the Christ followers in Ephesus and challenged them to make the most of every opportunity, he provided an example for them through his own life.
At the time he penned these words, he was in prison for sharing the gospel with others. Despite being chained to Roman guards, with limited to no freedom, he saw opportunity before him and made the most of it. Since he could no longer travel in his missionary journeys to the churches he established or pioneer new ones, he used the time in prison to write letters to those churches that became much of our New Testament today. And, when he asked for prayer, it is striking to me that he never requested them to pray that he may be released from prison or that his chains would be removed but that he would continue to speak fearlessly about Jesus in spite of them.
Then, in another prison letter, to the church in Philippi, his pages radiate with joy! How could he remain so joyful and find opportunity amid such difficult and restricting circumstances? Being unfairly imprisoned would cause most of us to give up or become bitter, but Paul saw it as one more opportunity to share the Good News of Christ!
When you compare the two letters that Paul writes from prison you find the answer. The Life Application Bible shares this insight:
“Paul realized that his current circumstances weren’t as important as what he did with them. … God can use us in any circumstance to do His will. Even as we pray for a change in our circumstances, we should also pray that God will accomplish His plan through us right where we are.”
If you want to make the most of every opportunity even in these evil days, consider that your current circumstances are not as important as what you do with them. Seize the day! Look for where God is at work and your joy will overflow!