Paul knew that if he was faithful to God then there was no way the devil could win this battle. If God chose to let him live, then Paul would live for Christ, and if God chose to take him home to heaven, then he knew that was the ultimate promotion and his faith would end in sight. When we are believers, the devil cannot win. In fact, the devil has already lost because victory was won through the cross and the empty tomb. We still have a few things to wrap up in this dispensation, but the victory has already been won. Whether we live or die, we are the winners and Satan is still defeated.
Many churches only want positive confessions and testimonies of all the good things God has done. But sometimes we need to cry from the miry clay because some needs are noisy and ugly, punctuating our programs with opportunities to let the light of Jesus shine through us. Sometimes we try to quietly usher the need out of the sanctuary lest it disrupt our preplanned church service. But these are needs on display—a broken heart, a broken home, a broken spirit, a broken mind—and they must not be ignored.
Sometimes it can feel like life is squeezing the joy and hope out of us. As we age and our bodies remind us of the effects of the Fall, as friends and family pass from this life, and as the years ahead of us are become much fewer than the behind us, it can be easy to lose hope. But the good news of Jesus Christ is that He has come to restore hope, bring healing, and restore dreams. If in this life only we have hope, we are of all men most miserable, but thanks be unto God that the suffering of this present life is not worth comparing with the glory that shall be revealed in us.
They had come through the storm in the night only to land in an area most devout Jews would have avoided if at all possible. But here they are, and what is the first thing that happens as they get out of the boat? A shrieking, streaking demon-possessed man comes running toward them from the hills where the dead were buried and a very large herd of swine was grazing.