Friday, June 18, 2021
Acts 23:11, Matthew 14:27
Today, I want to say something. Somebody out there watching right now needs to hear this: Take courage. You need to take courage. I don't know what you're going through. I don't know what situations you face, what difficulties you have, what problems, what circumstances, but God wants you to take courage. What does that really mean? Take courage means to take heart, to be of good cheer, to be encouraged. Why? Why does God want this for you? Because God is with you. And he's got you. He's got the situation that you're facing right now.
We see this illustrated wonderfully in Acts 23. The apostle Paul was a Pharasee. He was one of the Jewish leaders, he had an encounter with Jesus and became a follower of Jesus. Now, he was sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ wherever he went, and people didn't like that. So, Paul was arrested for doing that and found himself on trial in front of a council called the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin were the Supreme Judicial Council for the Jewish religion. They were the ones to uphold the Jewish law. There was a plot going on to kill Paul because he was now preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. We see in Acts 23:11 the following, '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."'
First, you see how the Lord stood near Paul? Next, this was God's way of saying to Paul, "Even though your circumstances look bleak, I've got you Paul. I've got this situation. Take courage, I am right by your side. Paul, you faithfully preached the gospel in Jerusalem, just as I've asked you, and now I have another assignment for you. You're going to preach that same gospel in Rome, in the center, the capital, of the Roman Empire. So Paul, take courage, you're safe with me." This is essentially what God was saying to him.
I don't know what plans God has for you and your life, but I do know he wants you to remain obedient to Him in whatever circumstance you find yourself. He wants you to trust him and trust that he's got your best interest in mind, just as he did for Paul. These words, "take courage," are the same ones that Jesus spoke to his disciples when he walked on water. He was meeting up with the disciples as they were out on a boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. They thought he was a ghost, and they were scared. We see this in Matthew 14:27, 'But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."'
Take God's courage. When you take his courage, fear disappears. Fear goes away. Fear flees. Take courage. I don't know what fearful situation you're in, but I know God wants you to take courage. The Bible is clear: when we remain obedient to Him, to God, blessings follow. The Bible is clear that our circumstances may not change but God replaces our fear with his peace. It is a peace that we cannot explain. It is only of God. So, stay the course, remain obedient to God, trust in Him, take your courage. I hope you find that encouraging today. Don't just go and have a great day, go and make a great day.