Daily Devotional – Acts 23:11‬ – March 17, 2024

“The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”
Acts 23:11

This verse needs a little bit of context to make sense, so let me back up a little bit before we get into it. This verse comes from the telling of Paul’s journeys around the known world proclaiming the gospel of Jesus. When he returned to Jerusalem to continue teaching the truth about Christ, he was mobbed, beaten, and arrested. He faced several threats, was nearly flogged, and was sent to jail. People were desperately trying to do him harm. In fact, most of the reason he was even in jail was so that the people wouldn’t kill him before the governing authorities could figure out what was even going on. It is in the midst of all of this that our verse for today takes place.

After yet another near encounter with death, Paul was taken back to his jail cell. There, the Lord appeared to him. The text says that the Lord “stood by him.” I have to take a moment to stop and just imagine how powerful that must have been for Paul, how encouraging, how comforting it must have been. He is suffering at the hands of men for the sake of Christ, and the Lord himself comes to him, stands by him, and encourages him. I think it honestly would have been enough just for him to stand by his side for a while, but he also spoke. He told him to take courage, and he instructed him to keep going.

We can learn a few things from that. First, and most clearly, Jesus is with us. As we go through this life serving him, he is with us and we are never alone. In our darkest, most difficult moments, Christ is there to comfort and encourage us. Second, he wants us to keep going. Even after everything Paul has gone through, he doesn’t tell him to stop and take a break or retire, he tells him to keep on going, to keep on testifying, to keep spreading the gospel.

We have to keep going. More accurately for some of us, we need to start in the first place. Wherever you are on that journey, Jesus is calling us to press on. Continue to preach the good news, continue to testify that Jesus is Lord, and take courage knowing that He is with you through it all.


Thank you for the encouragement we have through Jesus. Thank you for your presence with us throughout our lives and for the comfort and encouragement you give us in our hardest moments. Help us to take courage and to always keep on going.
In Jesus’ Name,

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