Where would you say you are on your journey with Christ – haven’t even started, near the beginning, somewhere in the middle, nearing the destination? If you are near the beginning (or can remember the beginning), what are (were) some of your expectations of the journey ahead? If you are further along, how has God surprised you in both challenging and joyous ways as you walked with him? What is your destination?
In Acts we have seen that Paul was not immune to fear or discouragement on the journey (18:9-10; 23:11). Here (v.15) Paul took courage when fellow believers were willing to walk between 30 and 40 miles to welcome him to Rome. Do you have a band of brothers or sisters to encourage you on the journey? If not, ask God for them and in the meantime seek to be that brother or sister to someone else!
God often allows his children to experience less than comfortable circumstances (e.g. shipwreck, snake bite, house arrest) in order to impact others with the message of Jesus. Does this reality challenge some of your expectations of the Christian life? How have you seen difficult times actually be used by God to advance his kingdom?