Daily Radio Bible Podcast
Leviticus 26 - 27 and Acts 23
Paul is suffering. It seems that this is his destiny from the very beginning, from the very first moment he was knocked off his horse on the way to Damascus. It was told by none other than Jesus himself, that this Saul of Tarsus would become Paul, and that he would suffer much for Christ’s sake. He would appear before kings, Gentiles and Jews alike. That was his destiny. suffering. Over and over again we see him suffering.
But God didn’t just say, you’re going to suffer a lot, Paul, and then leave it at that. No. With this proclamation came a prescription - He was going to see Jesus with great clarity. In fact, we’re told that scales came off of his eyes. He had a vision of Jesus. This clear vision of Jesus was to be the prescription for the suffering that he would encounter all through his life. It was the power that moved him into his destiny, day after day, whether he was in jail or alongside those he loved. The prescription and the power was a vision of Jesus. Time and time again the Lord renews Paul’s vision by enabling him to see Jesus in the midst of his suffering. After being arrested, alone and falsely accused, under threat of murder by a plot of assasins - in the midst of all this, the Lord appears to Paul. The word that Jesus speaks to Paul at this dark moment is this -
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)
Be encouraged! That’s the word. Jesus shows up and Paul sees him. And the prescription, in this time of great threat and suffering, is to be encouraged.
Are you under a threatening diagnosis? Is it a dark night for you, too? Have the pressures mounted? Is your diagnosis bleak? God will always offer you a vision of himself. Jesus says so. To all those who are his he says:
And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Mt 28:20 NLT)
The diagnosis for your suffering is a vision of me. See me. Be encouraged! I’m with you. My call on your life, and my purposes for your life they will not fail. I’m working something out here of great significance, of eternal weight and glory. Through this light and temporary affliction I’m working something out in your life. So be encouraged. Look at me. I’m offering you a vision of myself, in the midst of your suffering.
His prescription for your suffering is a vision of him. He has the power to fulfill all his purposes in your life. Hold on to that. Make sure you are looking at Him. Make sure, in the midst of discouragement, despair and the hard diagnoses in life, that you don’t turn away from him, but rather to him. He is here. He is present. He is with you. He shows up in the middle of the night, just like he did to Paul, with a word of encouragement.
Today, see that, hold to that, train your heart with this prescription of encouragement from none other than Jesus himself. May your heart be encouraged and may your eyes see remain on him.
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