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.”
The religious leaders were trying to stop Paul. They were willing to do whatever it took, even agreeing to a plot to kill him. More than forty people had taken an oath not to eat or drink till they had killed Paul. It seemed as if this could be the end of Paul and his earthly ministry.
But the Lord had encouraged Paul the night before, saying that he would also bring the good news of Jesus in Rome. God would provide a way for Paul. It might not be the way Paul initially thought it would be, but God’s plan could not be stopped.
God’s plans always triumph over the plans of people— especially when it comes to plots of destruction and death. God’s plans may sometimes appear to be frustrated or even defeated, but there is always more to the story when people think they can do as they please, ignoring God or believing he has no power. Eventually and finally, God’s plans prevail.
In the next few chapters, we will see Paul testify about Jesus in places and to people where he would not normally have an audience. As a prisoner under the protection of Rome, he may be in chains, but he is free to preach about Jesus and his love.
Dear God, today some of us especially need your encouragement and assurance that your plans will prevail. Give us hope, we pray, by your Spirit and in your promises. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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