Paul had clearly won favor with the Roman centurion. He was staying under his protection while the Jews attempted to have him imprisoned and killed.
They came up with a plot to kill him and gathered together 40 men sworn to kill Paul. They came up with a plan to have Paul moved and when the Romans were moving him, they would ambush the men and kill Paul. They asked the religious leaders for their help and they agreed.
Well, Paul got word of this from a “friend of a friend” kind of deal and when he asked the centurion leader about it, he listened. He moved Paul to a larger, safer Roman camp. Paul was still a prisoner, he was still subject to the others, he was still bound. Yet he was respected. Clearly, God could have done all this and probably played a very big part. Yet Paul’s attitude made all this possible. He was level-headed. He had earned, to some degree, the respect of the centurion. His conduct and the way he lived had gotten this man’s attention.
We can find ourselves in tough situations sometimes. It might be work, it might be marriage, it might be testy neighbors. We all find ourselves in tougher situations. But what’s so important about this passage, for us, is the results of keeping your composure. It’s the reward for not losing your “testimony” when your life gets hard. Paul was a prisoner and still managed to keep his integrity. Whatever prison it is that you are facing, have you kept your integrity? Have you given God the opportunity to work in someone’s heart because of the way you carry yourself amidst trials?
Our trials (metaphorical trials) do two things. They test our faith. They also put it on display for all those around us to see whether or not there is any validity to it. Are you faithful? Does your faith shine out in trials?