“…For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you…” Paul had already come to know the pain that came with following God’s plan. He had already, on several occasions, found himself beaten and imprisoned for walking the journey that Jesus had mapped for him. Even in the pain, however, Paul trusted. Even in the pain, Jesus spoke words of assurance to Paul. “For I am with you.” Those words were enough for Paul to continue. As long as he knew that Jesus was with him, there was nothing he couldn’t do, no prison he couldn’t handle, and no abuse he couldn’t endure. He trusted God for guidance, but also for protection.
There will be moments of pain in our lives and on our journeys as we pursue the call that God has placed within us. With Jesus in our hearts there will always be targets on our backs. Yet, we are never alone. In the pain, we are never alone. Trust the words of Jesus that He is with you. There is nothing that is affecting you that He is not aware of. Allow His words of being with you be the peace that holds you. There are those where you are going that need to be reminded that there is a God who can be trusted even in the midst of the reality of pain. Let your trusting of God through your own pain be the assurance for them that Jesus really is there right beside them.
Extended Reading Option: 1 Peter 4:12-19
Extended Journal Option: If God can use anything to speak to us, how might He be using pain in your life to speak to you? What is He saying? How can you see that He is still right there with you?