Be of good cheer!
Acts 23:11 (NKJV)
But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, "Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome."
Have you ever been comforted by the Lord? I have, perhaps not in a vision like Paul, but I have felt the comfort of the Lord in the truth of the promises in His Word. His comfort comes by His presence. If I abide in Him, He abides in me.
Paul went to Jerusalem against the advice of his best friends, but he knew the persecution he would endure there. I have a feeling he did not know the extent of it however. Here we have Paul, the subject of vitriolic hatred and the target of a conspiracy to kill him, perhaps troubled with doubt whether he had done the right thing in coming to Jerusalem. Then at this dark moment, he receives a visit from the Lord Himself who gives Paul wonderful affirmation and encouragement.
Paul had wanted to go to Rome, maybe not this way. This would be his last journey and it begins here. It would be long and arduous, fraught with peril but what confidence Paul must have taken with him because he knew that God was directing his steps. We'll see more of this incredible journey and God's providence over the next several days.
2 Timothy 4:17 (NKJV)
But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
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