After teaching in the synagogue every Sabbath for a little while, Paul is joined in Corinth by Silas and Timothy (18.5a). Paul’s plan for ministry is so simple and consistent:
“Paul became wholly absorbed with proclaiming the word, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.”
(Acts 18.5b, NET)
We see a huge shift in v.6 as Paul now declares that he will take the Good News of salvation and eternal life to the gentiles. What a huge moment for Paul: passionate about his kinsmen (Romans 9.3) yet now realising that the ground which he was working was not fertile.
A huge moment, but potentially very discouraging and apprehensive.
Have you ever made great plans and had high hopes only for them to not work out?
How did you feel?
Were you worried about an known future?
Into this disappointment speaks Jesus:
“The Lord said to Paul by a vision in the night, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent, because I am with you, and no one will assault you to harm you, because I have many people in this city.”
We then see that when Jesus speaks, our task is to obey. Paul stayed there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. If you had plans and hopes for the future that are not working out, hear what Jesus said to Paul: Do not be afraid…do not be silent, because I am with you…Just as Jesus was with Paul, so He is with you. The future and the plans that He has for you far exceed anything we can arrange for ourselves. Trust Him, and walk into His plans with confidence and faith.