Read Acts 20


Paul's visit to Macedonia and Greece; Paul seized in the Temple at Jerusalem.

And when he (Paul) would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done (Acts 21:14).

Paul was in Caesarea on his way to Jerusalem when the prophet Agabus foretold that Paul would be arrested by the Jews and imprisoned by the Romans. His friends pleaded with him not to proceed to Jerusalem. When they failed to persuade him not to go on, they answered, The will of the Lord be done.

It is not God's will for anyone to hate or persecute us, but if they do, we can rest assured that God permitted it, and that every trial can be a means of accomplishing His will in us. We must not always assume the worst. God uses many resources to direct our lives. This includes trials and tribulations. Everything that happens to us in life helps direct our decision making. This means the good things and the bad things. Families will fall apart. People will fall into depression. This may happen as a result of these trials. Remember, we are never outside the reach of God. He may be sending us down a rocky road that is hard to travel. However, it may lead to the greatest blessing of our lives. That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1:7).

As we accept this, we can forgive and turn our attention away from the person who caused our difficulty and let others see the love of Christ through us. As people see that we continue to love during our difficult times, it will reveal Christ to them in a special way. Especially if the people being loved have contributed to the difficult times in our lives. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you (Matt. 5:44).

Whether the trial came because of hatred by an enemy or the disloyalty of a friend, through fault or no fault of our own, our difficulty should bring us to a closer relationship with the Lord. Knowing this, we can give ourselves wholeheartedly to His will with the assurance that He who placed us here can also bring us out of our troubles. Therefore, stand in your time of trouble with confidence. Jesus has proven Himself to be faithful and will do what He says.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who . . . made Himself of no reputation . . . humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Phil. 2:5-8).

Thought for Today:

Our “peace” with God is determined by our “trust” in Him.

Word Studies:

20:12 not a little, greatly; 21:15 took up our carriages, packed our baggage; 21:24 be at charges with them, pay their expenses.

Prayer Suggestion: Give praise to God that His Word will stand forever (Is. 40:8).

Memory Verse for the Week: Titus 2:12