Be Still Know
Romans 15.23-24 NLT
‘But now I have finished my work in these regions, and after all these long years of waiting, I am eager to visit you. I am planning to go to Spain, and when I do, I will stop off in Rome. And after I have enjoyed your fellowship for a little while, you can provide for my journey.’
Paul’s love for the church in Rome is very clear and he can’t wait to visit them. I love the way in which he sets out his strategy so clearly. He was always looking to develop the mission of the church and so, having paid them a visit, he then aimed to go to Spain to preach the gospel. And in order to enable that mission to succeed he would be looking to the Roman church to support him in this. These few verses give us an insight into Paul’s heart and his plans, but, as we all know, it didn’t work out in the way that he had hoped. His first task was to go to Jerusalem in order to take the money that he had collected for the relief of the famine victims. He knew that that would be a potentially dangerous journey. His presence in Jerusalem was never going to be widely welcomed. In the event he was arrested and for the next few years he was a prisoner and so when he did finally arrive in Rome it was under armed guard.
We can learn so much from Paul. I believe that we should be inspired by his passionate mission heart and his careful planning. But we should also remember that things don’t always work out in the way that we plan. We need to be humble before God and recognise that, even if things don’t work out in the way that we hope and plan, God is still God and his plans will triumph in the end. When things go in the opposite way from our plans it can be deeply discouraging. We can feel that we have failed. In such times we need to keep our eyes firmly fixed on the Lord, knowing that we are ultimately secure in his hands.
Question: How would you respond if your life plans suddenly changed?
Prayer: Loving Father, thank you that our lives are in your hands. Help us to have complete confidence in you, whether or not life works out in the way that we had expected. Amen
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