Wednesday, October 25

Stand by me

Scripture: Job 16, Acts 21-23

Acts 23:11 That night the Lord stood by Paul and said, “Don’t be afraid! You have given your witness for me here in Jerusalem, and you must also do the same in Rome.”

Observation/application

Three things stand out to me.

First, the Lord stood by Paul.  This happened to Paul on more than this occasion.  In difficult times—and this certainly qualified—the Lord came near and stood by Paul and gave him hope and courage.  When we’re in the thick of it, be still (notice it was at night while Paul was in jail—classic quiet time!) and listen for His voice.  He will be near, standing by you.

Second, Paul was called to “give your witness for Me.”  This phrase stuck out to me because earlier this spring I was asked to speak at a large gathering of mostly unbelieving people.  I started planning my talk, and then the Lord interrupted me.  “Give a clear witness to Jesus,” He told me.  I did.  It’s what Paul did.  It’s what each of us are called to do.  Acts 1:8 “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”

Third, God gave Paul a vision.  “You are going to Rome to give your witness there.”  In other words, the Jews will not kill you, nor will you die in jail.  You are going to Rome.  Earlier, Paul had expressed a desire to go to Rome to witness to Jesus, to spread the gospel.  He didn’t imagine it would happen this way!  But the Lord is reassuring him by letting him know: you are going to Rome.

Jesus is near, standing by us in trouble.

We are His witnesses, giving our witness for Jesus wherever we go.

God has a vision for us that will keep us going!

Prayer: Lord, thanks for standing by Paul—and me.  Give me Your vision for my future, and help me be a witness to Jesus wherever I go!