“The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, ‘Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.’” (Acts 23:11 NIV84)
My immediate reaction to verses like this is typically, “Why not ME?” Lord, why don’t you come stand by me and provide me the assurance my heart so desperately desires? I know it’s not right, but I feel it anyway. I think at times that somehow the men and women of the Bible had an advantage over us. They got to see pillars of fire and mountains shake. They got to see seas divide and 5,000 hungry people fed with a few loaves a bread and a couple fish. I know I could go on with more examples but it wouldn’t help my feelings of jealousy. 🙂
But, let me tell you where my heart goes after I have thought about this a little longer than a few seconds. I am reminded that I am blessed with the full revelation of God’s Word. I possess the Bible from Genesis to Revelation (in more than one volume). I can be assured of God’s presence and protection in my life because I see its evidence in the lives of the people of the Bible. Also, if I think a little deeper, I have to admit that even though Jesus has never stood beside my bed and talked to me, He has nonetheless talked to me through His Word, through fellow Christians, and through the experiences of my life. God is not any less active in people’s lives today. He is continuously healing, redeeming, transforming, saving and protecting the lives of those He created and loves.
Let’s not be jealous of the biblical characters, but rather let us rejoice that He remains as faithful today as He has always been. For He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.