Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial. (James 1:12)
PAUL, THE APOSTLE, KNEW suffering and rejection. After his conversion, former associates hated him. Yet because Paul believed God wanted him to take the gospel to Gentiles in many places, he never stopped preaching. In Judea, militant Jewish nationalists stormed. In Lystra, Jews stoned Paul and left him for dead. In Miletus, he asked the elders of the church of Ephesus to join him. At the meeting, Paul stated that he felt compelled to return to Jerusalem even though the Spirit warned that prison and hardships waited. Paul considered his life worth nothing. He persevered to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus had given him.
In Jerusalem, a mob attacked Paul. Soldiers kept him safe for two years at the Roman governor’s headquarters in Caesarea. After that time, Paul appealed to have his case transferred to Rome where he would stand trial before Caesar. In the fall of ad 59 he sailed for Rome.
On the way to Rome, the ship ran aground at Malta. Paul made it safely to the shore. Then a viper bit Paul’s hand. Natives of the island expected him to die. Unhurt, Paul shook the serpent off and turned the experience into a testimony about the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
Paul lived in a world of hurting people and worked for the cause of Christ by sharing his faith. Like Paul, let’s share Jesus.
Don’t waver in your faith today as you share Jesus.
Priscilla Tate Gilmore can be found visiting flower nurseries, at the coast, or sitting by the fire on a rainy day.
© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.