When the Apostle Paul wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16), his confidence in the truth about Jesus Christ was unassailable.
But even Paul went through times when following Christ and doing His will involved more than he thought he could give. We understand how that can happen when times are rough and serving Christ forces us to fight through tough circumstances and unusually strident opposition. But in one situation, Paul seems to have overcome the hard things and come out ahead. In Corinth, even with severe attacks on him and the gospel, the Lord had prevailed and many had come to put their faith in Christ…”and many of the Corinthians when they heard were believing and being baptized” (Acts 18:8). But in the next verse instead of the rejoicing and thanksgiving that we might expect, we find that the Lord had seen a need in Paul for special encouragement.
For some reason, in the wake of many believing and being baptized, Paul needed to be bolstered in his faith, reassured of God’s promises and restored to a posture of boldness in his commitment to follow and speak much of Christ. “The Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, ‘Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city'” (Acts 18:9-10).
In each of our lives, we must be aware that those time we expect to face discouragement and fears, we fortify ourselves for such downward spirals, but we are frequently more vulnerable in times we least expect it…during times when things are going well. Then seemingly out of no where, we find ourselves unsettled, tentative, anxious, even fearful. That is when the Lord will enable us to overcome as He tells us, “Do not be afraid any longer…keep doing what I ask you to do. I will bless faithfulness to My word and bring favor upon any work that I call you to do.”
So like Paul, we are not only not ashamed of the gospel…neither are we ashamed of our calling in any area to which Christ has called us to put our hand. Therefore, we won’t back down and we won’t scare off too easily when we walk in the presence and power of the Lord!