Be of Good Courage!

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

The apostle Paul went to Jerusalem to share the gospel but the next thing he knew, he was locked up in a damp, dark prison cell. I’m sure he was discouraged on his first night because when the Lord appeared to him He said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome”. That phrase be of good cheer can be translated, “be of good courage.” So, I think Paul was discouraged, and a bit frustrated.

Whenever we read that the angels of heaven appeared and said, “Fear not,” it was because someone was terrified at that given moment. So when the Lord Himself said, “Be of good cheer, Paul,” he needed that special word at that particular moment.

Acts 23:11 says, “But the following night the Lord stood by Paul”. Sometimes it seems like the Lord is the only one standing by us. But even if everyone else forsook Paul, Jesus was more than enough company. If all the others despised him, the smile of Jesus was enough approval. Though his circumstances were less than ideal, I’m sure Paul knew it was better to be in that jail with the Lord than anywhere else without Him.

Prisons come in many shapes and forms. Jobs can seem like a prison sentence. Relationships can make you feel trapped. Some may even feel imprisoned by their emotions or their past. You should know that Jesus is there with you in whatever imprisons you. He knows what you’re going through. You have a God who knows what it’s like to face what you’re facing. You can bring your problems and concerns to Him. Go boldly to His throne and receive the mercy and grace He has for you in your time of need.


David Ball