God will never permit his disciples to suffer persecution needlessly

Acts 24

As per God’s master plan, Paul, being a surrendered vessel in God’s hands, comes, step by step, closer to fulfilling God’s will for the furtherance of His kingdom on earth through his life!

Having been given an opportunity to testify to the local Jews about his personal encounter with the Lord Jesus, and about the resurrection of Jesus from the dead before the chief priests and the whole council, he is now standing before the Governor, Felix, in order to answer the accusations made against him by the council, vs 1.

While Tertullus their attorney began his accusations against Paul, by flattering Felix, the Apostle Paul, just began his defense with words of sober truth, vs 2-4,10! Their accusations against Paul were concerning him being.

A ringleader
A troublemaker who stirs up riots
One who desecrated the temple
and whom they would have judged by their law had not the Chief Captain Lysias taken him away from them violently, vs 5-9! This truly shows that God will never permit his disciples to suffer persecution needlessly! Paul, of course, refuted their false allegations, vs 11-13,17-21, yet took the opportunity to express that, even though they took him to be a heretic, yet He worshipped the God of his fathers and believed all things which are written in the law and in the prophets, and so having such a hope toward God that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust, he did his best to always have a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men, vs 14-16.

On hearing him out, and realising that the accusations brought against Paul were not true, Felix dismissed the case for future hearing when the Chief commanding officer Lysias came, and while he ordered Paul to be kept under guard, he also permitted him to enjoy the freedom of being ministered to by his friends, vs 22,23!

Some days later, Paul got a chance to speak to Felix and his wife Drusilla about faith in Christ, while also discussing righteousness, self control and the coming judgment, which Felix felt uncomfortable to hear, vs 24,25. The only reason that he often called for Paul was because he hoped to receive a bribe from him for his release, which ofcourse Paul did not give, vs 26!
After two years, he was succeeded by Porcius Festus, and on not receiving money from Paul, he sought to do a favour to the Jews by leaving Paul in prison, vs 27! These circumstances could have been pretty discouraging to any person of lesser spiritual stature!

A man who received revelations from God, being even taken up to the third heaven, and whose hands and shadow healed many, now found himself in a tight corner, on being imprisoned for no fault of his, but for the glory of God.

*And, even now his deliverance through human or angelic means, seemed a distant possibility, only because He chose to remain in the perfect will of God and count His life on no account as dear to him, inorder to complete the course that God desired him to! Do we think it will be any more different for us than it was for him, if we choose to follow in the footsteps of Jesus wholeheartedly?

The choice we make will always be ours, but once we choose rightly, it will be the grace of God alone that will sustain us through it all, even as we humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand, and so, our short and light affliction will result in us gaining an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, just like it did for Apostle Paul! Amen.

Rowena Thomas
Mumbai, India.