Having not had much progress since being back in Jerusalem, Paul now finds himself alone and under arrest (v.10). Into this situation steps Jesus:
“The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Have courage, for just as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”
(Acts 23.11, NET)
Alone and under arrest, the Lord still knew where Paul was and came and stood near Him. Paul had been delivered from prison before, now the Lord was meeting Him in prison. Despite things looking pretty bleak for Paul – and they are about to get worse – Jesus comes and says
Even though things were, from an earthly perspective, just about as bad as they were ever going to be, the Lord knows that this is ultimately working together for Paul’s good and God’s glory (cf. Romans 8.28). Jesus knew Paul was going to testify in Rome and so was not concerned by current circumstances. Now Paul too was going to see the Sovereign providence of the Lord at work to deliver Him to exactly where he needed to be, to testify to the exact people he needed to, at the exact time he needed to.
For you and for me, we often pray for deliverance and help from our current circumstances, but what if God is using those very circumstances for your good and His glory? What if, instead of asking for help from our situation, we pray and ask the Lord to work in our situation?