Acts 23:11 That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, “Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome as well.”
Have you ever been discouraged? Have you ever felt as though your life were a failure? Or, have you have been frightened about the future?
The apostle Paul experienced discouragement. After he said goodbye to the elders of Ephesus, he made his way to Caesarea, where he stayed with Philip. Philip had a visitor named Agabus, a prophet. And Agabus said that if Paul went to Jerusalem he would be arrested and bound. Well, Paul made the journey anyway. And sure enough, just as Agabus had prophesied, he was arrested and bound.
So, Paul found himself sitting in a prison once again. And it appears that Paul was discouraged. He was concerned that he had blown a once in life time opportunity. But then we’re told that Jesus appeared and said, ‘Paul, be encouraged. Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome as well’. Jesus said to Paul, “Be courageous.”
It takes courage to follow Christ and to share our faith with others. Where do we get that courage? God has all the power we need to face whatever might come our way. He won’t necessarily give us that power before we need it. But we can be certain that He will give us all the power we need when we need it. So trust the Lord. His power gives courage.