The Apostle Paul was on his second missionary journey with Silas as his companion. In Philippi "the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. And . . . they cast them into prison" Acts 16:22, 23. Paul was sent away from both Thessalonica and Berea by brethren who feared for his life. In Athens Paul did his best to reveal the "unknown God" to the listeners. "And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. . Paul departed from among them. . .and went to Corinth" Acts 17:32, 33; 18:1.
Paul's resilience was amazing, only accounted for by his total love for, belief in, and commitment to his Savior, Jesus Christ. How easy it would have been for him to rationalize for an easier life, but he knew that God was with him both in trials and triumphs. In Corinth more trouble awaited him.
Paul had a deep desire to win his fellow Jews to Christ. His pattern of evangelism in each city was to contact the Jews first. "Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles"
Acts 18:5, 6.
Perhaps Paul was feeling some discouragement. What we do know is that the Lord brought to him an encouraging promise. "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" Acts 18:9, 10. After experiencing hurt and threats in so many places, this promise must have been a tremendous comfort to spur him forward in the work. But there came a day "when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, (that) the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat, Saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law" Acts 18:12, 13. Did Paul wonder how the Lord would intervene? "When Paul was now about to open his mouth, Gallio said unto the Jews, If it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you: But if it be a question of . . . your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge of such matters. And he drave them from the judgment seat (verses 14-16). Paul didn't get the first word of defense out of his mouth. God, always true to His promises, used Gallio to rescue him. "And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while" Acts 18:18. Trust in the Lord! Trust His promises!
Kathryn Irizarry is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.