The mission that Jesus called Paul to was not an easy one. As a Jew himself, he felt a responsibility to his fellow Jewish people to try to introduce them to the fact that Jesus was the Messiah, but as their hearts became harder and harder toward the message, he made the move to focus on the Gentiles and try to spread the good news of Jesus to them. God used Paul to spread Christianity in Corinth.
Jesus appeared to Paul in a vision and encouraged him to be bold and to speak out. He assured Paul that He was with him and would protect him. So, Paul obeyed and stayed in place for a year and a half, teaching the people. Paul trusted Jesus and obeyed.
Trust and obedience go hand in hand. It’s really difficult to obey without trusting. During this Christmas season, I’ve been so overwhelmed by what God has done for me. As I read through the Christmas story in Luke, I am humbled by the way God chooses to work and how trust and obedience are necessary ingredients to be used by Him. Mary trusted and obeyed. Joseph trusted and obeyed. Jesus trusted and obeyed and the world was changed.
I’m recommitting myself to trust and obedience in this new year. I want to be someone that God can use in His plans because He knows that I trust Him and will obey, even when it’s not easy; especially when it’s not easy. For me, this means stepping into the unknown more often than I would like, releasing the illusion that I have control. I’m praying that God would instill a stronger desire within me to trust and obedience. 2016 has been an amazing year and God has proven time and time again that He is willing and able to do great things among us if we are willing to yield ourselves to Him. I’m praying that 2017 will be even more amazing.
Merry Christmas, New Hope, and Happy New Year!
Executive Director of Education and Outreach