And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you…”
Acts 18: 9, 10 (ESV)
I am always deeply humbled when I consider that Paul, during his multitude of daunting experiences and appearances before gentiles and vulnerable new believers, never spoke with words of discouragement or condemnation.
When God inspired Paul not to fear but stay the course, the admonition was conveyed with absolute conviction. For the final victory had already been achieved by Christ Jesus, now seated at God’s right hand. And who, in his righteous benevolence, is now in charge, having authority over the entire universe. And as the co-creator, he always commands the moral and ethical high ground having an unobstructed view of all that will ever take place on earth and in heaven for all eternity. So when we are given direction and a course to follow, he has, in his unfettered cognizance and perfect wisdom, already seen the outcome.
God knows all the potential directions and outcomes of our life’s journey. He sees them from every possible vantage point and perspective. He knows the inherent moral and ethical issues and lessons in every circumstance we will ever face. He sees it all before we do. In essence, we see the same moments in time at different times. He may, occasionally, have to whisper our lines to us, but the performance is always, in spite of all its unexpected convolutions and drama, flawless.
The point is; God would never offer us guidance or direction unless he had a flexible spiritually rewarding journey ready for us. We can be assured that he has literally seen it through from every conceivable angle before we ever took our first step of faith. So it’s always a perfect performance, for even if we repeatedly stumble over our lines, he is always faithful to lift us to our feet, allow us to recover, and help us move on. What a wonderfully creative and patient benefactor we have in Christ Jesus.
Dear heavenly father, do not let us fill our hearts and minds with fear, but instead help us realize the life we are living, along with all the challenges and experiences, is an assured success. Give us the courage to voice our own words of encouragement to others with bold confidence knowing that you are with us always and will never forsake us. Amen.
A F Fischer