At times our lives can take some nasty turns even though we are attempting to follow the Lord. How does the Lord encourage Paul here even though he doesn’t free him from his imprisonment? In the past, when you have encountered unexpected difficulties and challenges, how has the Lord comforted and strengthened your heart?
What evidence do you see of God’s sovereign control over Paul’s life in this passage? Does understanding God’s control cause Paul to passively respond to his situation here? Paul would remain a prisoner for the next four years. Why do you think the Lord directed his path to Rome in this way? What people was Paul able to testify to that normally wouldn’t have taken time to listen to his Gospel message?
I doubt any of us have been as hated and maligned as Paul. When more than forty men vow not to eat or drink until they kill you, that’s intense hatred! How can this account strengthen our resolve to stay true to Jesus and testify to the truth of the Gospel despite increasing hostility from our culture?
“You’re immortal until God calls you home!” Psalm 139:16 If we really believed this, how would our level of anxiety and reaction to the difficulties of life be impacted?