God makes a variety of promises to His people which are documented in scripture. Some are true for all followers, such as the promise of salvation through Christ (John 3:16-18), and some are specific promises to individuals for specific circumstances. One thing we can be sure of is that what God says He will do… He will do.
9And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; 10for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city.” 11And he settled there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
12But while Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat, 13saying, “This man persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.” 14But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrong or of vicious crime, O Jews, it would be reasonable for me to put up with you; 15but if there are questions about words and names and your own law, look after it yourselves; I am unwilling to be a judge of these matters.” 16And he drove them away from the judgment seat. 17And they all took hold of Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and began beating him in front of the judgment seat. But Gallio was not concerned about any of these things.
18Paul, having remained many days longer, took leave of the brethren and put out to sea for Syria, and with him were Priscilla and Aquila. In Cenchrea he had his hair cut, for he was keeping a vow. 19They came to Ephesus, and he left them there. Now he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20When they asked him to stay for a longer time, he did not consent, 21but taking leave of them and saying, “I will return to you again if God wills,” he set sail from Ephesus.
22When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and went down to Antioch.
When God told Paul that He would protect him, He meant it. Paul did not even have need or opportunity to open his mouth to defend himself. God took care of it, as promised. Further, we see that Paul was in no hurry to leave after this display of open hostility, despite having been chased out of several other cities on the same missionary journey. This time he had God’s promise of protection and specific guidance to continue proclaiming the gospel here.
While this is just one specific example, it should encourage us to trust in God no matter our circumstances. This was no small matter to Paul, who had been chased out of several cities up to this point on this missionary journey. People wanted to hurt or kill him to silence the message of Christ.
Take some time to reflect on some of the promises that God has made to all of His people. Are you living like you trust Him to do as He says?
Now reflect on any promises you believe God has shown you specifically. Are you trying to bring these promises about by your own will and action in your timing, without waiting on God? Are you avoiding doing it all together because you know you can not do it on your own? Both approaches are tempting at one time or another, but in truth we must walk in faith and do our part to obey what He tells us and then trust Him to do what He says He will to help us. I sure appreciate that He will help us to do what He calls us to do and that I can trust Him to do so in His way and in His timing… even when it conflicts with my ways and my timing.
Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.