This summer my family had the amazing opportunity to visit the ancient city of Corinth. We were in awe as we walked the ruins and saw the place Paul preached to the Corinthians. James and I loved sharing this experience with our children. As we explored the ruins, we imagined what it would have been like to hear Paul tell people about Jesus. Corinth was a large and wealthy city during that time. I can image it was difficult for Paul to come and speak openly about his faith to an audience that was not receptive to Jesus. God encouraged Paul to persevere:
One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.”
Paul allowed God to work through him and God impacted the lives of countless people. Ministry can be scary and uncomfortable at times, without God walking alongside of us we would falter every time there was a stone in our path!
James and I are open about our faith with our friends and neighbors. Sometimes people are curious and will ask us more about our faith, and sometimes we are met with anger. I remember one neighbor in particular who, upon finding out we follow Jesus, began to express how little they think of Christians. It was difficult to hear, but (with God’s help) we calmly listened and answered the heated questions that were thrown our way. At the end of the night our neighbors had not changed their view of God or Christians, but we hope God was able to plant a seed that will one day grow.
Not everyone we serve will be open to hearing from God, but God still encourages us to continue in faith. He calls us to not be afraid, keep speaking, and not be silent. Join us this Sunday as Wayne will dive deeper into Acts 18:1-18a as we reflect on how God encouraged Paul during his time in Corinth. I pray God will empower you to be steadfast in the ministry He has entrusted to you!