After reading Acts 23:16-35 as part of my daily reading plan I read Warren Wiersbe’s commentary and ponder on his thoughts regarding Paul.
“As you review the events recorded in this chapter, you cannot help but be impressed with the commitment of the apostle Paul to his calling; ‘None of these things move me.’ (Acts 20-24) If ever a man dared to follow Christ, come what may, he was that man. Paul did not look for the easy way out but for the way that would most honor the Lord and win the lost. He was even willing to become a prisoner if that would further the work of the gospel.
“You are also impressed with the amazing providence of God in caring for His servant. ‘Let us trust in God, and be very courageous for the gospel,’ wrote Charles Spurgeon, ‘and the Lord Himself will screen us from all harm.’
“God’s people can afford to be daring, in the will of God, because they know their Savior will be dependable and work out His perfect will. Paul was alone—but not alone! His Lord was with him and he had nothing to fear.” Warren Wiersbe
Paul faced many hardships, he faced many crowds that were unfavorable to his message and he faced many powerful rulers of his day. I wouldn’t have wanted to be in his shoes. But God has placed me in this time and in this place on Earth to be about His business. I can’t honestly say I have the boldness of Paul, which leads me to ask questions of myself, and I challenge you with these today:
• Will I stand regardless of the circumstances?
• Do I trust that God will keep me in the midst of those circumstances?
• Do I believe God Himself is with me no matter the circumstances?
• Will I choose courage over fear?
You may not be imprisoned, you may not be shipwrecked, you may not need to defend yourself publicly or privately. My guess is that your hardship, your challenge, is a bit different. A bit more like mine…the daily struggles of life, the prayers that are repeated, and the children that do not walk with the Lord.
From the “big” things of life to the smaller…air conditioning that doesn’t work right, dogs that are getting old and leaving “gifts” for me to clean when I get home, laundry, cleaning……and the mundane things of an average day. You and I need the courage to do the next thing to the glory of God. Paul’s courage was not his own but a work done through him. If you don’t have courage today- ASK for it! If you need courage – KNOW your God!
Oh, that you and I would live courageously today!
Kathy Withers is on staff at America’s Keswick and serves in Partner Care. Kathy has been married to her husband Dave for 30 years. They have two adult children. Kathy is active in her local Church and teaches a Bible Study for women. Her passion is to encourage women to deepen their walk with Jesus Christ by finding and living out the truths of God’s Word.