Acts 18:1-11 (NIV)
"After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.
When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles."
Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.
One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: "Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city." So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God."
Have you ever given your best effort on your job but your employer doesn't notice? Have you continued to show love, kindness, and patience towards someone but yet they continue to be mean towards you? Have you work hard at your studies in school but never seem to get a positive grade? Have you worked hard as a entrepreneur but yet your business is going down instead of up? We all have had situations where we have given our best efforts (doing all we know how) only to see no positive results. I know from my own personal experiences this can be extremely frustrating (even painfully so at times). It can also be very discouraging to routinely give our very best efforts expecting to see positive change, yet there is no change at all. We've done all we can, yet things remain the same.
When we are in the peak of frustration we often make declarations like, "That's it! I quit! I give up! I'm done!" That is exactly what the Apostle Paul was feeling in the scripture passage (above) taken from Acts chapter 18. While in the city of Corinth, Paul had been at the church preaching, and preaching, and preaching, and preaching to the people about JESUS CHRIST with what seemed to be no positive result. In fact, many of the people laughed at him, called him names, or simply ignored him. Paul became extremely frustrated and shook his clothes (just as we might throw our arms in the air out of frustration) and basically said to the people, "I'm outta here! What happens to you people is on your heads!"
However after Paul leaves the church and goes to visit Titius, something special happens back at the church. The leader of the church accepted the word of GOD preached by Paul and his family believed also. The Bible goes on to say that many in Corinth believed and were baptized! It is interesting that positive change within the people didn't begin until after Paul walked away. I do not mean walked away as if to abandon his mission. Instead it was more like he moved out of the way. Sometimes we want something to happen so bad we unknowingly try to force it to happen the way we want. While there are times when we need to put in the work, there are also times we need to move out of the way (taking our hands off the situation).
Later on GOD speaks to Paul in a dream and says, "Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city". GOD told Paul not to give up! Before this moment, Paul could not see that his preaching was not in vain. GOD encouraged Paul to keep preaching and not to fear. GOD wants us to know that HE is also with us in the very same way. GOD wants us to keep giving our best efforts in everything that we do (towards people, on the job, in business, in school, everywhere). GOD wants us to know if we keep doing the right thing the result will be good. Here is a scripture which sums it up for us . . .
Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
Therefore my friends please do not give up. GOD knows our hearts. HE knows we are hurting, frustrated, disappointed, depressed, and discouraged because things aren't happening as we would like. Just remember that after we have done all the good we can, sometimes we must to get out of the way and allow GOD to work things out for us. GOD will fix it! GOD loves us! Trust, trust, trust, and believe, believe, believe!
I pray these words have been a blessing for you as they are for me (bringing us in closer relationship with our FATHER). Please feel welcome to reply and share your thoughts by posting them here or privately at email@example.com. If this message has touched your heart and you do not know JESUS CHRIST as your Lord & Savior but want HIM in your life you can accept HIM right now wherever you are. Pray this prayer out loud, "Dear GOD, I ask forgiveness for all of my sins. I believe that JESUS CHRIST is your son. I believe that JESUS suffered and died on the cross, was buried, and was resurrected for me. I accept JESUS as my Lord & Savior. Come now and live in my heart. I accept you as head of my life. In the name of JESUS I thank you, Amen."
If you have just prayed this prayer I say to you "GOD bless you and Congratulations"! If you do not have a church home, pray and ask GOD to lead you to a local (Bible believing) church in your area where you can be baptized in JESUS name, fed the Word of GOD, and fellowship with other Christians.
If you have any questions please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
GOD bless you!