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Paul could have been filled with bitterness, but he overflowed with the joy of the Lord, and we can too! Our hands are not in chains today. We are blessed far more than most people in the world. But if all of that was taken away, we would still have grace; we would still have Heaven; we would still have Jesus!

I really like this story about Professor William Phelps. He taught English Literature at Yale from 1892-1933. Dr. Phelps was grading tests shortly before one Christmas, and he saw a note a student had written next to a tough question on the test. The student wrote, "God only knows the answer to this question. Merry Christmas."

The professor returned the test with his own note under the student’s comment: "God gets an A. You get an F. -- Happy New Year."

I like that statement: "God gets an A." When your world is falling apart and nothing seems to be going your way, God gets an A! -- Forever and always, God gets an A! He is wonderful all the time. We can always rejoice in His goodness, His love and His grace. And we can always rejoice in the Lord, because the Lord is always with us. As Paul said in vs. 5, "The Lord is at hand." So park your heart on the joy of the Lord.

Source: Adapted from Today in the Word, October, 1990, p. 10. Found in SermonCentral sermon "What Must I Do to Be Saved?" by John Baggett - Acts 16:27-34

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