Jesus at Your Side
“But on the night immediately following, the Lord stood at his side and said, ‘Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also’” (Acts 23.11 ESV).
Paul was in deep trouble. All his enemies surrounded him, and death seemed to be just around the corner. In fact, when Jesus came to his side and told him to take courage, more than 40 Jewish leaders were taking an oath not to eat or drink until Paul was dead. Paul was brining the Good News of Grace to everyone who would listen, and the power hungry religious leaders were irate. They didn’t want to lose their position of prestige that they held onto so tightly. In the middle of the storm with the possibility of death on the heels of each morning, Jesus told Paul to “Take courage.” Jesus was right next to Paul when the crushing weight of circumstances was at its peak. Today, we can trust that Jesus’ presence will intensify as the hardships of our situation increase. When we find ourselves in a overwhelming situation, the Lord comes alongside us to encourage us and to guide us through the murky waters of oppression and despair. God will match our heartache with His grace, and He will come to the rescue with His love, comfort and peace when life seems to be falling apart.
“We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.” – Martin Luther King