July 14, 2021 – Wednesday
Acts 18:9 NIV
9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.
One thing that jumps out is that Paul was afraid, otherwise there would be no need for God to speak to him in a vision telling him not to be afraid. Almost all the versions here say Do not be afraid, although a few say Do not fear which is basically the same.
I have wondered about Paul’s seemingly endless courage and ability to get up and continue forward no matter what happened. The hatred expressed toward him by many who hated his message about Jesus seemed endless, resulting in riots, beatings, plots of assassination and hurried escapes.
Paul would have been greatly encouraged by this verse above and the one that followed, For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” The result of God’s encouragement follows, So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God. He admitted his fear during his stay in his first letter to the Corinthians in 2:3, I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. But with God’s reassurance, Paul did speak the gospel of Jesus and he did so boldly and fearlessly.
The result of Paul listening to the vision from the Lord was a large thriving church established in Corinth. Paul did not have the New Testament Bible as we do. We may turn to it any time we feel afraid or fearful when doing what we know the Lord wants us to do. Or we may memorize certain verses to encourage us when facing a trial or tribulation.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You that we have Your Word to read, study, and memorize in part to both strengthen and prepare us for our own trials when we may be fearful. Thank You that we can do so if we do not wish to be afraid. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.