“The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage!  As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.” (Acts 23:11)


            Earlier chapter had someone came and took Paul’s belt and bound him up and said through the Holy Spirit, that the religious leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt when he comes.  When Paul ‘s friends heard about this man’s words, they urged Paul not to go.  They even pleaded with him in tears.  Now Paul has arrived in Jerusalem and all hell broke loose.  The Pharisees and the Sadducees were not always allies.  But this time they became allies against Paul and the gospel that he was declaring.  There was so much turmoil that even the Roman commander has to be called in.  There are going to be times that we will face tremendous turmoil and no one is around to lend support.  There is going to be so much confusion like Paul situation was.

            The Holy Spirit knew what was going to happen to Paul in Jerusalem before he knew anything about it.  However, Paul was willing even to suffer and possibly expecting the worse will come out of the struggle he may face.  Paul could have relent and change plans or wait for the right time.  Moreover, he could have listened to his friends advises and their tears and choose not to go.  But Paul was determined that it was the right thing even in the face of troubles.  He knew it was going to happen because the Holy Spirit said it will. Paul was alone and had no allies until God gave him wisdom to discern the two religious groups that were about to destroy him.  He discerns they were the Sadducees, and the Pharisees who have no understanding of the gospel, but Paul knew what to say. 

            Paul settled the two groups down and talk to them about his upbringing, as a Pharisee and a son of a Pharisees.  Paul talked about the RESURRECTION, which two groups opposed each other’s in their belief.  The Pharisees believes in the resurrection and the Sadducees do not believe it.  Because of Paul’s statement, the two religious groups erupted into a fight, thus spare Paul from any harm that could’ve happen to him.  No problems, no troubles, no situation will ever happen to us without the knowledge and the permission of God.  The Holy Spirit knew that Paul would face troubles.  The Holy Spirit knew when to open Paul’s eyes to discern the point of contention between the two religious’ groups.  Even in the face of difficulties, I learn to trust the Holy Spirit of God for his guidance, wisdom, and discernment to lead me through any situation. 

            We are never alone in our troubles if we are sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  We are never alone when we are willing to walk with God even through problems.  God always makes a way.  And moreover, as he did with Paul, he promised to STAND BY ME as he did with Paul.  When we are willing to face danger no matter the consequence maybe because we are willing to do the right thing, we can count of God’s presence.  The LORD STOOD NEAR PAUL AND SAID, TAKE COURAGE.  I must realize that God WILL ALWAYS STAND BY ME when my heart is willing to face my troubles head-on and not fearful of the consequences. 


            God does not always deliver me from trouble, but always accompany me in my troubles.  I am reminded to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  I am also encouraged to know that the Holy Spirit will never let me journey alone at any time, whether things are going well or not.  He is always present.  I will continue to practice daily walking in sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s leading, counsel and wisdom daily. 


            Jesus, thank you for reminding me that I am never alone.  Thank you for the circumstances and challenges that I face for without them, I would not know your presence with me.  Thank you for opening my eyes to see that you are always there.  I pray that you continue to stand with me in every situation in my life.  Sometimes I am fearful of challenges and possible difficulties in life, but to know that you never leave nor forsake me brings courage to face whatever the challenges maybe.  I look to you daily.  In your name, Amen!