“One night while Paul was in Corinth, the Lord said to him in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid. Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you. No one will attack and harm you, for I have many people in this city.’” (Acts 18:9-10)
What a great pep talk for Paul! In light of all of the violence and controversy that was going on, it was a difficult time for Paul. But the Lord came through in a vision and told him just what he needed to hear. The Lord said, “Do not be afraid,” which is said several times throughout the Bible. To Paul, God continued, “Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you.” Some pretty powerful words!
As this verse resonates in my mind, I think of all of those that have been abused in some way — physically, sexually, emotionally and otherwise abused and needing the strength and reassurance that these words provide. Someone standing up to violence can feel so alone. These words reassure that the Lord is there.
So with this verse in mind …
· May those who are currently being abused find strength in these words, strength they are not alone. May they find courage to not be afraid, to go on speaking, and to not be silent. Most of all, may they know that God is with them.
· For those who have stopped the abuse, may they find the continued healing in these words and the strength to continually speak out against abuse by helping others to feel their presence so they are not alone.
· And for those who have never been affected by violence, may theu find a voice for the others who have and become the city of support that they need.