By Nancy Virden (c)2020
He stood alone facing a large assembly of high-powered and commanding men. They were bickering, nearly to the point of an all-out brawl. His opportunity to defend himself before his accusers faded between the shouts of developing chaos.
He was here, awaiting opinions as to his guilt or innocence. Soldiers finally dragged him away for fear he would be torn apart by the angry mob. Taken by force to safety, it was clear he was no ordinary man.
His public message was one of hope and unity. He called for all people, even those in the out of control gathering to reconsider The Way, a new branch of the Jewish faith. Members of this growing movement believed the promised Messiah, the anointed One, had come in the person of Jesus. Later, they would be called the first Christians.
Speaking of these things to both Jew and Gentile audiences, many agreed with this harassed preacher who had at one time been one of the powerful and influential elites. Back then, he had obsessively rounded up so-called traitors to the faith who belonged to The Way. He had imprisoned them and cast his votes for their deaths. That is until Jesus appeared to him.
As he turned his back on prestige and control, crowds listened. Numerous new believers joined The Way. Still, others who did not believe plotted to kill him and all followers.
This is why he was forced to defend himself. Alone.
In the courts of governors and a king, he stood to speak. Alone.
He endured flogging, a beating, and imprisonment. Alone.
Yet even he knew he was not alone in the fight for his life. Friends came and went in their support of his physical and spiritual needs, however, they could not bear his pain.
He wrote several books, some while in prison. Intended for people in The Way, he said, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.I can do all this through [Jesus Christ] who gives me strength.” **
We can know…
The strength he received from Jesus is the same as you and I can ask for today. Whatever the challenge, Jesus will walk with us through it.
We never need to be alone in our fight.
*You can read the full drama of Saint Paul’s arrest, trials, and mishaps at sea that took place about 65 AD.
Today’s Helpful Word
“…and be sure of this—that I am with you always, even to the end of the world.”
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.
*** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME
NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!