In the Face of Adversity

“As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied.  ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’  Acts 9:3-6

Saul got up. He’d lost his sight! Before he became blind, Saul was on his way to imprison people belonging to The Way. But God interrupted and redirected his path. Then, Paul prayed and his sight was restored and he had a new vision for his life.

Paul went in the strength God provided, one step of faith at a time. From mission to mission, he made connections and planted churches. His passion was strengthened.

Paul was stoned and dragged outside the city as if dead. He was put into prison, flogged five times with 39 lashes, beaten with rods three times, shipwrecked three times, and faced dangers from rivers and robbers. Sometimes he was hungry, thirsty, and cold. But trials didn’t stop him. His commitment was unshakable. He pressed forward, focusing on the target — setting people free through the good news of Christ. He fixed his eyes on Jesus, not on his circumstances.

Despite his feelings of inadequacy, he allowed God’s grace to carry him through.

“My grace is sufficient, for my power is perfected in weakness” (2 Corinthians 9: 9-10).

He dared to write from prison. A good portion of the New Testament bears his signature.

Paul’s strength did not come from self-confidence but from confidence in God’s power. He stood in Jesus’ righteousness. He focused on the future, not on the past. Eventually, Paul said,

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

Dear Father God, I commit my future into your hands in Jesus’ name. Help me to be courageous and to make decisions in the light of eternity and to see the difference. Amen.

By Fab Batsakis
Used by Permission

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