Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace; For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.
It is exciting to read about the missionary adventures the Apostle Paul lived out in the Bible. Clearly, his mindset was focused on winning souls for Christ. His message was simple. Jesus is Christ and in Him only is salvation. Quite often he faced rejection and opposition from those who were religious. Not everyone was willing to accept his ministry, but everywhere he went there was a harvest of souls. In these two verses, the Lord gives him a mandate, “Be not afraid”, and then explains why. Notice the reasons why Paul should not be afraid.
- Because of His Purpose – speak, and hold not thy peace
Paul was called by God to proclaim the gospel. He had to teach and preach wherever there was an open door. Fear could not silence him or hinder the work of God. You and I may not be missionaries like the Apostle Paul, but we also have a purpose from God. It is the same as Paul’s. We must tell others about the gospel of Jesus. Do not be afraid, God wants to use you to spread the message.
- Because of His Presence – For I am with thee
What a promise! He will never leave us or forsake us. I cannot help but notice the I AM. Take security from this truth. Jehovah God knows where you are, is there with you, and wants to use you right where you are for His glory.
- Because of His Promise – no man shall hurt thee
God’s Word teaches us that nothing can touch us that does not first pass through His hands. We do not have to be afraid of what man can do to us. If God has a purpose and we are obedient to His will, He will accomplish it through us. Man cannot hinder the work or will of God. Be not afraid.
- Because of His Potential – I have much people
You do not have to read very much of the Bible before you understand that God loves people. It is not His will that any should perish. He sent Paul to Corinth for one reason. He loved the people of that city and wanted them to hear the gospel. God has people all around us that He loves and He wants them to hear of Him and His love. Be not afraid, live out your faith.
I believe this is a powerful passage of Scripture. It was powerful in the life of the Apostle Paul, and it can be powerful in our lives as well if we will believe it and act on it.