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Seeking to equip people to live as Christian disciples wherever God has placed them.

Friday, February 8, 2019

“When Jesus Sees You”

Romans 15:30-33

Paul here is picking up the theme we saw from the prior section.  Paul here in summary is asking for four things.  The first is that he will be rescued from unbelievers in Judea.  The second is that his ministry to Jerusalem would be acceptable to the Christians. The third is that he would come to them in joy.  The fourth is that he would be refreshed by their company.

As we have seen in Acts 21:17-36 none of this happens.  The believers in Jerusalem are suspicious of him.  The Jews in the temple riot because of him.  This all leads to a series of upheavals with Paul appealing to Caesar.  Paul, as we have seen, will come to Rome as a prisoner.  This is not the hoped for rescue or joy that Paul had spoken about.

Yesterday we noted that our best intentions don’t always work out the way we hope.  We may be perceiving what we believe to be God’s will when in fact that may not be the case.  However the crucial point here is not Paul’s expectations.  Nor is it the fact that events did not work out as Paul had hoped.

The crucial point here is the theme of “earnest prayer.”  Paul is asking the church in Rome to join with him in this prayer.  The hopeful truth here is that God responds to prayer.  He may not always respond right away.  The Lord may not give us directly the request for which we are asking.  However, no matter what, God hears and he responds.

We are never abandoned.  We are never left alone.  This is the promise of “earnest prayer.”

Eternal and loving God may I always seek you in earnest prayer.  Give me the grace to accept whatever answer you give.  I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.