I work out on an elliptical machine (aka: the machine of torture) several times a week. About halfway through my workout, when I’m ready to quit, my playlist via Fred Hammond is encouraging me, “Don’t give up! I will renew my strength. I will run and not be weary.” Then Toby Mac encourages me that “I look and feel fly.” This is my motivation to finish my workout.
Are you weary in the battle? Have you stepped out in faith but like Paul was met with opposition? God told Paul to go to Jerusalem but he was met with opposition, flogging, and imprisonment. I’m sure Paul was beginning to question his ability to hear from God in the midst of this trial. Perhaps he felt like I do when I’m halfway through my workout routine and wondering why am I putting myself through this torture. What I need at that moment, what we all need every now and then, what I believe Paul needed is a reminder of the vision – a reminder of our purpose.
I believe Paul is frustrated at this point. So Jesus himself comes and reminds Paul of his purpose. Jesus commends him for preaching the gospel in Jerusalem and commissions him to preach in Rome. In other words, don’t give up now Paul, you still have work to do.
If you find yourself weary in the battle – tired of contending for breakthrough, tired of waiting for an open door, tired of denying yourself – remember your purpose. Recall the promises spoken over you. Envision what it will look like when the breakthrough comes, imagine the joy you will experience. This is powerful because Jesus was able to endure the cruelties of the cross because of the joy set before Him.
You can get through this trial. Just remind yourself of your purpose.
That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, “Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome as well.” (Acts of the Apostles 23:11 NLT)