Acts 20: Following into Hardship
Acts 20: 22-24: “And now I am on my way to Jerusalem, bound in my spirit, not knowing what I will encounter there, except that in town after town the Holy Spirit testifies to me that chains and afflictions are waiting for me. But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.”
Wow. Paul was knowingly heading into affliction. He knew that chains awaited him. He didn’t care. He still moved forward to do what God called him to do.
Paul was used to travelling around, free to go where the Spirit led him. He knew the Spirit was leading him to Jerusalem. He didn’t care that it meant trouble for him personally.
If Paul had been able to travel, some of the most precious parts of the Bible may not have been written. When he was imprisoned he wrote to the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, and some believe even to the Hebrews. He even wrote personal letters to Timothy, Titus and Philemon. Many wonderful scriptures come from these books, including an exhortation to have an attitude like that of Christ in Philippians 2 and to put on the armor of God in Ephesians 6.
The church is much richer because of Paul’s obedience to the Spirit.
My challenge for myself is this: Am I willing to follow the Holy Spirit into hardship for the furtherance of the gospel? It gives me much to think about.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me walk closely with you. Help me listen for the Holy Spirit’s voice and yield to it. Help me love you so much, that I like Paul, would be willing to follow You, even if it means hardship. Amen.
CC: K Carswell 2022
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, Copyright 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by Permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible, Holman CSB and HCSB are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.