You’re not done…

Hello Friday!  Here we go…

rear view of woman standing by autumn lake with arms outstretched

Thanks to WomenLivingWell.org for our graphic today!

I know what you’re thinking…what in the world is this verse about?

Glad you asked.

Our verse is found during the story of Paul being in prison in Jerusalem.  He had stood before the governing body in Jerusalem (the Sanhedrin), and they hadn’t made a decision about his guilt or innocence.  What was he accused of, you ask?  Well, that was the question then as well!

Anyway, while Paul was in jail, our verse takes place.  I love how it is stated in the NIV:  “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” (Acts 23:11).

My sweet, take a minute and picture it.  Our Lord, standing near us, telling us that this trial or persecution is not the end of us.  He says that we have more to do.

Let’s break it down.  There are times in every believer’s life when the Lord’s presence is felt–truly felt.  When I close my eyes, I can see my Lord standing near me.  That image in and of itself is enough to make my day!

Look at what comes next.  The God of the universe stands near His beloved Paul, and speaks to him.  And not just speaks to him, speaks encouragement to him.  My friend, that’s what God does daily to those who take the time to listen.  But we don’t always take that time, do we???

God told Paul that the situation at hand was not the end of his life.  God specifically said that Paul had more to do in another city.

I believe we can take this verse as inspiration in our own lives.  We all have trials, temptations, situations, questions, interruptions, failures, distresses, messes.  It’s part of life.  Listen to the words that God told Paul–take courage.  Be strong.  You’ve got more to do.  Believe.  Keep walking in this path, but do so with the knowledge that there is more ahead of you.  More opportunities to grow.  More opportunities to share.  More opportunities to learn.  More opportunities to help.  More…

Today, I pray that these words spoken so long ago will offer some encouragement to you.  To some, this is just a verse to be read while reading about Paul’s life as an apostle of Christ.  I too have read this quickly.  This time, however, the verse gave me such imagery and such a deep feeling of well-being that I had to share it with you.  Take the time to let the richness, and the truth in this verse wash over you.  Let it become part of your soul, a sure encouragement in times of “imprisonment.”

Keep walking on, my dear.  This “Jerusalem” is not the end.  You’ve got more to do…

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