And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle. And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
Paul’s life and preaching caused such an uproar in the church that it spilled over into the streets and he was arrested and brought before the civil authorities. The night after Paul was arrested, the Lord appeared to Paul and said in so many words, relax, I’m doing this. You’ve preached at Jerusalem and now you’re going to preach at Rome.
It was approximately five years from the time Paul was arrested at Jerusalem until he preached Jesus in Rome. Paul was under arrest this whole time, which was from 58 AD to 63 AD. During this five years, Paul suffered being shipwrecked at sea, stranded on an island, snake bitten, cold, hunger, thirst and many other things. However during this five years, Paul steadily moved toward Rome and people were saved, healed and heard Jesus preached the whole way. Additionally Paul’s needs were always met and he was always miraculously taken care of, the whole time being under arrest.
In Matthew 20:18 Jesus says to His Disciples, “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death,”
Jesus was on His way to e betrayed and condemned to death and yet He tells His disciples, “We go up to Jerusalem.”
It seems strange that so many times in life we end up in seemingly hard situations that we are unable to escape and yet that is the hand of God, as Jesus is being preached to someone, through my life, by my reactions and the way I conduct myself through that thing. Really instead of being a sinkhole that is sucking me under, I am going up. I am going up in God’s will as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. Even though it feels as if we are drowning, we are progressing upward in the will of God and in our relationship with Jesus. Additionally the impact of our testimony is something we will never fully understand until eternity.