Daily Radio Bible Podcast
God is With Us in the Dark
Today’s readings are Job 16 and Acts 21-23. We are reading from the New Living Translation.
Jesus appears to Paul and tells him to be encouraged. Paul, you’re going to be my witness here, and in Rome. Paul had every reason to be discouraged. Many of his Jewish brothers who had come to Christ, were looking with suspicion on him. They didn’t quite understand his teaching regarding grace. Those who had rejected the Way, looked to kill him. He had been beaten and locked up, once again. He was, no doubt, discouraged. And then there were those people who warned and begged him, all along the way, not to go to Jerusalem. And all those ominous signs that they had spoken of were coming to pass. It seemed to be playing out just the way they said it would.
It was at this lowest of points, in the midst of discouragement, that Jesus appeared to Paul. Notice that Luke doesn’t say that Paul saw Jesus in a vision. Jesus didn’t send a ‘holy hologram’. Jesus showed up himself, inside the prison cell. And he told Paul to be encouraged. What an incredible moment that must have been for Paul. Imagine Jesus in the cell with you, talking to you, encouraging you. No doubt, that moment sustained him for a long time. It encouraged him for many more days to come – hard days. He had met with Jesus so he knew that Jesus was somehow directing and overseeing all of this messed up life that he was in the middle of.
Some of you have experienced something like this. Maybe Jesus didn’t physically show up in the prison cell with you, but at your lowest, when you were most discouraged, at that moment you experienced God’s presence. It was at the moment, or during that season of your life, more than any other, that you experienced God’s presence like no other. You experienced an overwhelming sense that God was with you, far more than when things were going right.
The Holy Spirit has been given to us and He is a Counselor, a Comforter, and an Encourager. He is someone who can encourage us when we are in the midst of our hardest moments. The Holy Spirit will shine the light on Jesus, and shine the light of Jesus into our life. He will direct our heart to his Word – his word of encouragement to us. And when Jesus encourages us, we can hold on, we can keep going, we can find strength.
Allow the Holy Spirit to shine his light on Jesus. Jesus is in the room with you now. He wants to encourage your heart, by letting you know that He has a plan in motion and he’s with you each step of the way. It might seem like what’s happening around you is chaos on wheels, but he wants you to know that he’s with you. Live encouraged and strengthened by his abiding presence. He is with you.
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