9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.”
Ever since Paul had received a similar vision to “go to Macedonia”, i.e. Europe; it had been a lot of struggle. He had been imprisoned, beaten, rejected, and debated. Now here he was in yet another city doing the thing God had given him the direction to do and the opportunity to do and it was the same hardship all over again. There was a tremendous spiritual battle being fought over the continent of Europe and Paul was right in the heat of it; a battle that was extracting a cost from Paul. So, a word of encouragement comes to him from his captain, “Do not be afraid. Keep on speaking. I am with you.; You are going to get a break in this place. You are not alone.” It was enough, Paul stayed another year and a half and the gospel stayed in Europe (Ps. Dale).
Thoughts for the day
- When you face hardships, who do you turn to for encouragement?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
- Who can you encourage with this story/message?
Pray for the nation of China. Pray for China’s leaders and for all those who are in authority. May they call on God for the wisdom to lead this country.