Acts 22:22-23:11 – A message worth being uncomfortable for
If you’ve ever started a new job or can think back to the first time you stepped into GWAC or any new environment…you know the feeling, right? That feeling of unease: What is happening? Where do I go? What am I supposed to be doing? You’re nervous that you’re going to do or say something wrong. Ultimately, all of those fears and concerns boil down to a core issue: uncertainty. You’re not comfortable; you’re out of your element.
The early disciples often found themselves in those situations, yet each time Jesus took care of them because they had a job to do that didn’t leave room for unease. Jesus encouraged his apostles as he encourages us, to take courage in your testimony, because you know the importance of that message and who goes with you to speak it.
That’s what I love about Paul! He knows the message and will endure anything and everything to have it be heard. In these verses ALONE Paul is shouted at, had his life threatened, flogged, interrogated, hit in the mouth and almost torn to pieces…yet despite all of this Paul continues to speak of “the hope of the resurrection of the dead” (v6). Why would Paul be so self-sacrificial when it comes to proclaiming the message of Jesus? Why would he be so willing to live in that feeling of unease? How can he so boldly challenge the areas where a crowd may divide (v7-8)? How is Paul not afraid of what might happen next?
Verse 11, after all of the commotion and dangers… “the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”
We might look at ourselves and think, “I have no ability! I can’t do this! I’m scared!” and yet Jesus’ promises to Paul are promises made to us as well. Wherever you go, Jesus goes with you. Whenever you speak, Jesus is there. No matter what, He’s going to work it for good. He simply calls us to be faithful in sharing His message and know that he’ll get us through whatever else comes our way.
Friends…Take Courage!. And as you take courage, take the message that has been entrusted to you. Because it’s a message worth being uncomfortable for.