Courage for Your Calling
Pastor David Cameron
What do you usually do when things do not go the way you expect them to go? Do you feel discouraged and feel tempted to abandon the course of your walk? Or do you keep your eyes on God and the hope of his promises? When God calls you and gives you a mission, he will not only give you all the necessary skills and preparation needed, but he will also encourage and strengthen you along the way.
The chapter of Acts which we will focus on today, Paul’s dramatic trial scene, says a lot about his character and motivations. On the one hand, even though the Jewish religious leaders opposed him and accused him in front of the Roman authorities, he called them “Brothers,” and deferred to the authority of the high priest when rebuked–he respected the word of God and did not flout.
On the other hand, we can see his loyalty to Jesus. Paul has been tested in every possible way, persecuted during most of his ministry, and he even knew that he was going to suffer more; yet, he chose to cling to life. It could have been much easier for him to give up the good fight, to avoid Jerusalem, or to soften his words in front of the religious leaders.
It makes you wonder, “What made him continue instead of retreating? Why did he continue to preach the whole gospel of Jesus when it clearly caused him so much pain and trouble?” Jesus is his motivation, and we see that he received encouragement from a visit from our Lord in prison. Jesus reminded him of the mission ahead of him, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome” (Acts 23:11 ESV). He knows that he has a mission to fulfill and that God will protect him until his time arrives. He knows that his labor is hard and painful, but not in vain.
Are you facing adversity or trials? Are you tempted to give up the good fight? Think about those things that cause you to be fearful or sway from the course God has set you on. Have faith and take courage. Keep your eyes on the hope of God’s promises. Ask him to protect you and to give you courage as you walk with him, living out all that he has called you to do.