Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
Paul had gone to Jerusalem to preach the gospel, and the next thing he knew, he was locked up in a cold, damp, dark prison cell. I’m sure that on his first night there, he was a discouraged man.
Why do I say that? Because of the Lord’s words to him: “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome” (Acts 23:11). The phrase “be of good cheer” could also be translated, “be of good courage.” In Scripture, whenever an angel of the Lord would appear and say, “Fear not,” it was usually because someone was afraid at that given moment. So I conclude that when the Lord himself told Paul, “Be of good courage,” he needed a special word of encouragement at that particular moment.
Acts 23:11 includes this important detail: “But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, ‘Be of good cheer. . . . ’ ” The Lord stood by him. Sometimes, it may seem as though the Lord is the only one standing by us. But if everyone else had abandoned Paul, Jesus was company enough. If all others despised him, the smile of Jesus was approval enough. Though his circumstances were less than ideal, I am sure Paul knew that it was better to be in jail with the Lord than anywhere else without Him.
Jesus is there in your prison as well. For some, it might be a literal prison cell. For others, it might be the prison of a hospital room or the prison of mourning. Whatever or wherever that prison is in your life, Jesus is standing by you. And He is saying, “Be of good courage.”
For more relevant and biblical teaching from Pastor Greg Laurie, go to www.harvest.org.
Copyright © 2007 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions,