“. . . they immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night . . .” Acts 17:10
There are small trials and great trials. When there is little strength, where confidence runs low, there is a big enough promise to carry us through. When the rapid current of life crashes into the places in which we once believed we were safe, where the torrents darken the light of warmth, there is an unending promise.
Paul and Silas had enemies. They were jealous and had formed a mob and were storming through the streets setting the city in an uproar, going from house to house and persecuting believers. Paul and Silas were sent away under the cover of the night.
Deliverance comes in an instant, but the storm rages on. In the upheaval of the storm, Jesus is the land to which we go and when we call on Him we are safe. The storm doesn't always instantly die down, the voyage isn't always peaceful. Far from it. There are fears, crosswinds, and dangers of every kind, but there is a strength that gives us strength, there is a love that overcomes the world.
Often quitting seems like an option. Sometimes we lose ground and are pushed back by opposing winds, we clutch at the hem of His garment, then our inner world is made right. We are saved. We are empowered to fight in perfect peace while storms rage all around.
Jesus did not stop fighting because people left Him and His disciples grew fewer and fewer. Today our battles are easier because it was hard on His side. The hand who offers salvation in the storm is nail-scarred from a battle fought long ago. Now the light of heaven comes through His wounds.
All comfort, all courage, all hope, all life comes to us straight from Calvary. It's because He suffered that He can be with us in our own sufferings. For us, He fought the final battle of death and hell and sin. He died as a seed in a rocky grave, and resurrected, redeemed to live life in the Spirit.
Is the quality of your relationship with God determined by your circumstances?