As we have repeated already, “Life can be difficult.”
Perhaps even now you are facing a very difficult situation in your life. The reality is that even if things are going great today we have all come to learn that there is likely a troublesome time approaching. I know that isn’t a very encouraging thing to read but don’t worry because God the Father has ways of encouraging us when we struggle. There is help in the midst of trouble for those who have chosen to trust in Jesus.
On day one of this three part series we discussed how God shows up to help right when we need most. (Click Here to go back to day one). On day two we discovered that Our names are on God’s lips, in other words, He knows us. He knows what we are facing and what we need. (Click Here to go back to day two).
Let’s finishing looking at our example from the life of the apostle Paul and see yet another way that God helps His children through times of trouble.
Read Acts 23:1-11 (go ahead and read our passage one more time)
Key Verse: “That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, “Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome as well.” Acts 23:11 NLT
After showing up in Paul’s low moment and speaking his name, finally God tells Paul that just as Paul had shared the Gospel message in Jerusalem he would also share the Gospel in Rome.
Now maybe that doesn’t sound real encouraging to you today, but God really helped Paul with those words. God was giving Paul something that he may have lost during his hardship: Hope!
God was making it clear to Paul that this would not be the end of him. God had a plan for Paul. And even though things looked bleak, and scary at this moment Paul would have been greatly encouraged to know that this would not be the end of him. God never promised to take away the hard times from Paul but He did promise that there would be times after this. You see when we face hard situations we tend to get so consumed with the moment that we can’t see past it. That was probably how Paul was feeling that day. God reminded Paul that it was not over yet.
God wants to do the same for you in your struggle today. God would have you realize that what you face today is not going to be the end of you. You may feel hopeless, you may be hurting, and you might feel like the future has escaped you. But by letting you know that He has a plan for you, God helps you regain proper perspective.
He helps encourage you by helping you see that there is life after this struggle, no matter what the current struggle is. The truth is that even if this is the very last difficult moment you ever face in life, God even has a plan for you after this life is over.
God encourages us in our times of trouble by helping us regain proper perspective.
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