Fear Not

Paul left Athens and went to Corinth, where he met Aquila, a Jewish man from Pontus. Not long before this, Aquila had come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Emperor Claudius had ordered the Jewish people to leave Rome. Paul went to see Aquila and Priscilla and found out that they were tent makers. Paul was a tent maker too. So he stayed with them, and they worked together.

Every Sabbath, Paul went to the Jewish meeting place. He spoke to Jews and Gentiles and tried to win them over. But after Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, he spent all his time preaching to the Jews about Jesus the Messiah. Finally, they turned against him and insulted him. So he shook the dust from his clothes and told them, “Whatever happens to you will be your own fault! I am not to blame. From now on I am going to preach to the Gentiles.”

Paul then moved into the house of a man named Titius Justus, who worshiped God and lived next door to the meeting place. Crispus was the leader of the meeting place. He and everyone in his family put their faith in the Lord. Many others in Corinth also heard the message, and all the people who had faith in the Lord were baptized.

One night, Paul had a vision, and in it the Lord said, ‘‘Don’t be afraid to keep on preaching. Don’t stop! I am with you, and you won’t be harmed. Many people in this city belong to me.” Paul stayed on in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching God’s message to the people. (Acts 18:1-11)

It’s easy to tell someone not to be afraid. It’s harder to do it. When Paul reached Corinth, he supported himself by making tents. Paul soon faced serious trouble and opposition in Corinth. Paul was human, and just like any of us, it was easy to become discouraged, to wonder whether things would work out, to second guess ourselves or to think perhaps we’ve made a mistake. But Jesus appeared to Paul and told him not to be afraid, and to just keep doing what he was doing.

Just as God told Elijah, when he despaired that he was the last prophet, so Jesus told Paul that the city of Corinth was filled with many of God’s people. Jesus knew that Paul needed the comfort only other people could give.

When we get discouraged, not only should we pray to God, we should also make a point to spend time with other believers so we can share with them our burdens. We’ll feel better when we’re not by ourselves. Jesus knows we need other people.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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