Glass Half Full


Every day we have various opportunities to respond in ways that further the gospel or isolate others from it. We all experience circumstances where we must choose between seeing the glass as half empty or as half full. Seeing things with a “glass half empty” mentality can limit our choices, and it often causes more harm to ourselves and to those around us. It is in the times when we choose to see the “glass half full” that greater opportunities for God to move in our lives, or others’ lives, seem to arise.

  • Can you think of a time where you had a choice like this to make? How might the way you handled that situation have influenced the outcome?


35 And when it was day, the magistrates sent the officers, saying, “Let those men go.”

36 So the keeper of the prison reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent to let you go. Now therefore depart, and go in peace.”

37 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us openly, uncondemned Romans, and have thrown us into prison. And now do they put us out secretly? No indeed! Let them come themselves and get us out.”

38 And the officers told these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Romans. 39 Then they came and pleaded with them and brought them out, and asked them to depart from the city. 40 So they went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia; and when they had seen the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Why didn’t Paul and Silas simply walk away in peace like the police told them to?
  2. How did the magistrates respond to Paul and Silas’ request to come and let them out in person (vss. 38-39)?
  3. How did it benefit Paul and Silas to wait for the magistrates to release them?
  4. Can you identify a situation where you had the opportunity to set the rules and demonstrate your faith? In what ways did you gain greater confidence or feel more encouraged because of your response?


Paul and Silas could have chosen to see their situation as ominous and cowered in defeat. However, Paul saw his unfortunate circumstance as an opportunity—glass half full—to further the gospel. He used his status as a Roman citizen to allow him to stay long enough to encourage the believers who were there before leaving the city. Something as simple as going to work each day can, at times, seem overwhelming if we view it through the wrong lens. It is when we allow God to move in and through us to further his kingdom that we can find greater joy and fulfillment of his purposes in our lives.

  • Pray that God would allow you to view your daily circumstances as opportunities to further his purposes.
  • Thank him for his grace in the areas where you may not always choose well.