I’m always suspicious when coincidences occur in my life. I suppose that sometimes, these coincidences are merely that: coincidences. But more often, I think something far more important is happening. Instead of coincidences, maybe these are God-ordained appointments?
And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. Acts 16:23
Paul and Silas were preaching about Jesus when some people became upset. The crowd joined with them and before they knew it, Paul and Silas were in jail. It would be understandable if Paul saw “bad luck” at work here. But I don’t think that’s how he saw it.
I believe Paul chose to look at everything that happened to him as a divine appointment from God. This incident and subsequent jail time led to an opportunity to share Jesus with the jailer. An earthquake struck and broke open the cells, but Paul and the other prisoners stayed in their cells. The jailer was prepared to kill himself over losing the prisoners when the divine appointment arrived between Paul, God, and the jailer:
But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:28-31
God is at work all around you right now. The difference between a coincidence (or any other event in your life) and a God-ordained appointment is how you view it. So which are you looking for? Are you looking for random chance in your life, or for God’s hand at work? Paul chose to see God bringing him from divine appointment to divine appointment. How about you?