Acts 23:11 – The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about Me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.” God never forsakes His children when they are intimidated from all corners. He gives them courage and strength to face their difficult situations to go forward. He knows when we need further strengthening and so He comes to us at the right time to speak to us in a special way. He knows all about the roadblocks we face in our ministries and our daily lives. When intimidations galore, even the strongest among us sometimes become discouraged. Elijah had such a discouragement in life. David experienced deep discouragements on many occasions during his life time. Jacob went through shattering experiences in life several times. Jacob was in deep distress when he lost his beloved Rachel and later on when his precious Joseph was gone. Job went through such bitter experiences when he lost everything in life. John had nothing to hold on while in exile in Patmos. But our Lord never forsook His dear ones at the lowest ebbs of life. He revived their sagging spirits and fortified their hearts. He spoke to them, encouraged them, took their fears away and gave them abundance of courage. Paul was intimidated by the enemies of gospel cruelly. But the Lord didn’t forsake him and his ministry. The Lord took time to meet him when he was alone in the barracks. He spoke to Paul to encourage him and reassured him about his life and ministry. The Lord reassured Paul that he would sustain him to fulfill the ministries for which he was called.
Dear reader, are you experiencing serious intimidation and threats from the enemy in your life and ministry? Are you gripped with fear and anxiety about the future? Is your situation far beyond your capacity to handle all by yourself? Remember, your Lord knows how complicated your situation is. He is speaking to you today through the life of Paul that your Lord will not send you forward alone. He will go before you and prepare your way. He will equip you for the ministries that He has planned for you. He will give you the courage and strength to face your situations. There might be more serious intimidation awaiting you in the future. The wind, waves, earthquake, tsunami, shipwreck and other experiences might come your way again. But none of these need to discourage you because your Lord will be with you every step of the way. He will look after you and your activities. He will give you energy, strength, courage and confidence to face each of your future situations. He is willing to give far more than you ever ask for or imagine. He will meet all your needs at the right time. So there is no need for you to be afraid of your present or upcoming situations. Today the Lord speaks and commands us not to be discouraged. We often get discouraged when we try to work out our situations in our own strength. But when we trust the Lord, He will fulfill His plans for us with His resources. Paul had so much of ministry waiting for him. God had already planned some more books of the Bible to be written by Paul. More revelations were waiting for him in the days to come. These are all ordained of the Lord in his life for which the Lord prepared His servant and gave Him divine courage. The same courage and strength are available for us today to face our situations for the glory of God.Psalms 31:24 – Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Thought for Today Greater the intimidation we face, greater will be the courage and strength poured into us by the Lord.