After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.
A 50 mile walks sounds pretty awful, doesn't it? Imagine doing it all by your lonesome, sound any better? It probably does not, but this was the apostle Paul's journey from the city of Athens to Corinth. Paul's time in Athens didn't garner the success of his previous missionary journeys, so his long 50 mile hike was filled with lots of self-examination. Upon arriving in Corinth, Paul joins up with a tent maker for income. He spends time in the local Jewish Synagogue attempting to persuade the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah, but again faced opposition. A long walk accompanied with yet another situation of resistance to the gospel, so stating the obvious here: Living on mission is difficult.
Living on mission is extremely difficult for so many reasons. Whether it's experiencing hostility for faith conviction or trying to work up the courage to move the conversation to Jesus with a friend, family member, or co-worker -- it really becomes a great challenge. We all have those experiences where more seems to be going wrong than right in life, but notice what was one of the major sustainers in the missionary life of Paul:
And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, "Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people."
The Words of God fuel us for the work of God. Jesus spoke truthful words of encouragement to remind a weary Paul of His character. Jesus is a faithful God and we have no reason to fear. What a great word to hear when things aren't playing out the way we'd like. The other good news is that Jesus is not only faithful, but He said He's with us! Jesus isn't distant and far, but He is faithful and near to us in our difficult seasons of mission. Additionally, let's consider how Paul responded to Jesus' message in verse 11:
And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
Paul stayed. That's extremely profound when you understand the whole context. Paul acted in obedience through trusting the words of Jesus and staying in Corinth. Paul believed Jesus' instruction was consistent with His character, thus he joyfully submitted his life. The Words of God are not only a beautiful manifestation of His character, but they serve as compass for our lives. The scriptures should be something that every disciple of Jesus relishes in everyday as we walk in this fallen world. This is why I'd like to cordially invite you to consider taking our scripture intensive, called Stirring Affections. The intensive begins on May 2nd at District HQ, please read more and sign-up below.