I know few people in their right minds who would seize the opportunity to tour a maximum-security prison. However, when my father invited me to join him on a trip to the infamous Angola Prison in Louisiana, I said yes. Before you question my sanity, let me share my observations during this experience.
As I walked through the corridors of the prison, I saw men who had committed unspeakable, heinous crimes. Their blank, expressionless faces betrayed the emptiness they felt inside.
But one of the prisoners I met in death row had a gleam in his eyes which distinguished him from the others. Like the other inmates in his cell block, he would pay for his crime with his life, but he seemed to have peace about his fate. Then I learned that Freddy* was a Christian, and I understood why he had peace. He had been assured of God’s forgiveness and was looking forward to spending eternity with Christ in Heaven. Even though he might soon be losing his life, he could still say that God is good.
The consequences of sin are, as one faith-based, addiction-recovery group put it, “inevitable, incalculable, and up to God.” But God is still good, even when we suffer for our sins. In the midst of it all, He gives us hope and assurance of His love and forgiveness. He also comforts us with the promise of eternal life. Isn’t He good?
Perhaps you have made some poor decisions in your life. As a result, God has taken some of your blessings away. Your marriage and family have suffered, along with your reputation and your job performance. Even under these circumstances, God is still good, for you have not suffered the fate every sinner deserves — eternal Hellfire. Instead, He has given you mercy and a home in Heaven if you put your trust in His Son. Ask Him to teach you how to walk in His ways so your life will please Him — and don’t delay.
*This inmate’s name has been changed.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.