For me, the thing that stands out here in Acts 20 is where Paul says, “I want to finish the race that I’m running. I want to carry out the mission I received from the Lord Jesus; the mission of testifying to the Good News of God’s kindness.”
Paul had already been on the receiving end of quite a lot of persecution, and the Holy Spirit told him that in every city imprisonment and suffering was waiting for him. Yet he was determined to run…and finish…the race.
I want to have that kind of determination, too. I want, when my race is over and I stand before God, to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” To me, that will be a glorious day, and I will do whatever it takes, go through any trial, to hear those words.
How about you?
As time winds down, and I believe we are in the final days, living for Jesus is not going to get any easier. We look at the news today and we see how persecution against believers around the world is growing. One of the most important things we can do is to decide before persecution comes to us what we will do when we look it in the face. That’s one of the reasons we’re told in scripture that we will face trials. God wants us to know that things aren’t going wrong when those times come. He wants us to know, rather, that it’s part of His plan. And He wants us to prepare mentally, emotionally and spiritually.