And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him away from among them by force and bring him into the barracks. Acts 23:10
Alone Paul sits in the dusty dark prison barracks. “Is that how it is going to end?” he is likely wondering. In physical pain, doubting, afraid, disappointed, Paul sits alone. But not for long. Jesus comes and stands by him and says, “Take courage…” Not only does Jesus know precisely where Paul is physically, but He also knows where he is emotionally. He knows Paul is afraid and alone, and He comes to stand by him and provide encouragement.
Jesus continues, “…for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.” If Paul thought this was the end, it is only the beginning of something new…new people, new territory, a new mission field to testify about Jesus, the Messiah.
No longer alone. No longer feeling unsuccessful or unusable. Paul has renewed power and renewed hope. Somehow from the barracks in Caesarea – a place he didn’t think he would get out of alive -- he knows he will be going to Rome, a place he deeply desired to go. He doesn’t know how or under what circumstances, but the Lord told him he would testify there and he knows it to be so.
Sometimes Jesus helps us escape from where we are, and sometimes He comes and joins us where we are. Either way, He promises to always be with us.
If you are frustrated with your current situation, feeling regret over past failures, or fearful about the future…Take courage. Jesus is with you. There is still work to do, no matter where you find yourself today. He can find you anywhere, and He has extraordinary ways of getting you exactly where you need to be when you need to be there. Take courage.
Question: Do you feel like you are stuck in an impossible place or situation? Be alert and on the lookout for Jesus. He will come to you and show you the way.