Near the end of Paul’s third missionary journey, God repeatedly warned him of dangers that lie ahead. In Acts 20:23, Paul said, “the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me … that bonds and afflictions await me.” Christians in Tyre “kept telling Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem” (21:4). A prophet named Agabus came into Philipp’s house, borrowed Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet, and then warned Paul, “In this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles” (21:11). Paul’s future is certain, and those with him, including Luke, “began begging him not to go to Jerusalem” (21:12).
Imagine how unsettling and frightening this would be. If we knew that, with certainty, that tomorrow or the next day, we would be imprisoned, physically harmed, or even killed for our faith, how would we respond? Paul responded, “…I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus” (21:13). What a powerful statement of faith made by a man who knows that great danger lies ahead.
Thank God for the peace that we enjoy, but strive daily for the faith of Paul.