I only made it through the first half of this chapter today, but here it is in a nutshell: Paul is preaching the gospel in Corinth, the Jews there don’t like it, they’re doing everything they can to stop him. This is nothing new to Paul. He meets resistance everywhere he goes, and it seems to just be getting worse.
I may not be getting put in prison or chased out of cities like Paul has been, but to say that I’ve been meeting resistance and obstacles is an understatement. And can I just get real for a minute? Those continuous obstacles can really pave the way for fear and doubt to make me question if I’m even on the right path. I have to think that Paul must’ve been having similar feelings, otherwise God wouldn’t have needed to encourage him like he did in verse 9: “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and don’t be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” I guess he knew that I needed this encouragement today too.
See, he’s given me a job to do, and he wants me to walk in obedience to that without any fear or doubts. And this verse contains two promises that help me do just that.
First, he promises his presence. He is with me. As soon as I made the decision to give my life to Jesus, he came to live in me, and that has not changed.
Second, he promises his protection. He had placed people around Paul who would build him up and defend him and support him and encourage him, and he’s done the same for me. He’s protecting me through the people he’s placed in my corner.
I’m on his path.
I’ve got his presence.
I’ve got his protection.
I need to move forward boldly in that.
But, that’s easier said than done.
Do not be afraid.
I’m working on this Lord, but please keep reminding me.
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