Scripture: Acts 21
10 After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’”
12 When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14 When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”
In chapter 21 a prophet tells Paul that if he goes to Jerusalem, he will be bound and handed over to the Gentiles. The people that cared about Paul pleaded with him earnestly not to go. Paul was not dissuaded by the prophecy or by the people. He proclaimed that he is ready to die for his faith. The people finally gave in to the Lord’s will.
Why did God give this message to Agabus the prophet? Was it to warn Paul away from going to Jerusalem? No, Paul went anyway. So what was the point of telling him? It seems the Lord gave Paul this prophecy to test him. God gave it to him so that he could proclaim his great faith to others. Even in the face of arrest and death Paul was faithful to the mission God had given him.
I think we can take a lesson from Paul. God doesn’t always lead us away from hardships and suffering. Sometimes He leads us toward them so that we, like Paul, can proclaim our faith to others. The people who were with Paul finally accepted the Lord’s will because of his faithfulness and testimony.
Lord God, thank You that Christ was willing to suffer for us. Help us to be wiling to suffer for Him, even unto death. Please use our faith to bring others to accept Your will. In Jesus name, Amen