The Day Before ‘The Next Day’
And the night the Lord stood by him (Paul), and said, Be of good cheer: for as thou hast testified concerning me at Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome. And when it was day, the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. And they were more than forty that made this conspiracy.
What God has said, He will do. Be reminded of this in your life. There is nothing that can stop God’s plan. Not even 40 blood-thirsty men determined to kill you. Such was Paul’s situation when he work up the next day. Imagine discovering that kind of news in your own life. Think about it: 40 religious men, some of whom you may have known, who are fasting to see the end of you; fasting for your destruction. Perhaps in your own life the news is somewhat different. Maybe it is someone bent to ruin your reputation. Perhaps it is a situation where someone is working behind the scenes to make you fail on the job. Or, it might be an attack from a family member, religious person, or former friends.
Whatever the case may be, we must consider the day before. Why is the day before so important? God often speaks to our hearts the day before ‘the next day’. That is why the day before is so important. Consider the context of Paul’s threats to his life. The night before the Lord was with Paul comforting him and reminding him of where he must go – to Rome. The Lord comes to strengthen, remind, and encourage each one of us concerning his plans for our life. He often comes the day before ‘the next day’ because he knows that we need to hear his reassuring voice confirming his plan for our lives for His ultimate glory. Yes, His grace is sufficient for each day but such moments like these in our lives – where the comforting voice of the Lord is so clear- seem to have a spill-over effect. We can always look back in whatever we are facing and recall the ‘day before’ while we are living in the ‘next day’. As we do that, we trust God and walk in his plans for us. Moreover, just like Paul, he has places for us to go and people testify to concerning the gospel.
Later in the book of Acts, as it turns out, Paul was protected from the plot to kill him and eventually made it to Rome just like the Lord had said. Along the way, Paul faced numerous situations that were life-threatening (ship wrecks, a snake-bite, the courts) . Yet, it was what the Lord said that Paul held on to. Later in Acts 27:24, the writer records the same message from the Lord (You will testify before Caesar) delivered by an angel to Paul while he is lost at sea due to a storm.
I do not know when you will face a day like ‘the next day’, but I do know that the Lord wants to speak to you. He wants to let you know where he wants you to go and with whom he wants you to share the gospel with. And when you find yourself in the midst of ‘the next day’ you must still recall the Lord’s promises from the day before. For in doing so, you can walk into ‘the next day’ and every day after with joy, peace, hope and strength.