Acts 22:22-23:11 Christ’s Promise in the Midst of Trial

The promise in form is a promise of continued testimony-bearing; in its substance, one might say, it is a promise of continued life. Paul is cheered, not by being told that the wrath of the enemy will launch itself at his head in vain, and that he will bear a charmed life through it all, but by being told that there is work for him to do yet. That is the shape in which the promise of life is held out to him. So it always ought to be; a Christian man’s life ought to be one continuous witnessing for that Lord Christ who stood by the Apostle in the castle at Jerusalem.

Let me just urge this upon you for a few moments. It seems to me that to raise up witnesses for Himself is, in one aspect, the very purpose of all Christ’s work. You and I, dear brethren, if we have any living hold of that Lord, have received Him into our hearts, not only in order that for ourselves we may rejoice in Him, but in order that, for ourselves rejoicing in Him, we may ‘show forth the virtues of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.’ There is no creature so great as that he is not regarded as a means to a further end; and there is no creature so small but that he has the right to claim happiness and blessing from the Hand that made him. Jesus Christ has drawn us to Himself, that we may know the sweetness of His presence, the cleansing of His blood, the stirring and impulse of His indwelling life in us for our own joy and our own completion, but also that we may be His witnesses and weapons, according to that great word: ‘This people have I formed for Myself. They shall shew forth My praise.’

Paul was immortal till his work was done. ‘Be of good cheer, Paul; thou must bear witness at Rome.’ And so, for ourselves and for the Gospel that we profess, the same divine Providence which orders events so that His servants may have the opportunities of witnessing to it, will take care that it shall not perish until it has done its work. We need have no fear for ourselves, for though our blind eyes often fail to see, and our bleeding hearts often fail to accept, the conviction that there are no unfinished lives for His servants, yet we may be sure that He will watch over each of His children till they have finished the work that He gives them to do. And we may be sure, in regard to His great Gospel, that nothing can sink the ship that carries Christ and His fortunes. ‘Be of good cheer . . . thou hast borne witness . . . thou must bear witness.’

Charles Spurgeon

Heart Preparation
Read Acts 22:22-23:11. Consider the appearing and message of Christ to Paul in prison in verse 11. Jesus speaks this same message to each of us in our discouragement in his work. How can you apply this message to your life and ministry?

Posted on: May 8, 2014 - 10:00PM

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