Stronger In The Waiting

Move – Get Off Your Spiritual Couch by Brian Tome on Youversion

For the king knows about these matters, and I speak to him also with confidence, since I am persuaded that none of these things escape his notice; for this has not been done in a corner.

Acts 26:26

These words from the apostle Paul took place later in his life, at a time when lesser men would have thrown in the towel, thinking their best days were behind them. But a man like Paul lives with hope, expecting and preparing for a great moment that could be right around the corner. 

Paul was a force in the early movement of the church. But suddenly he found himself in chains, having lost the ability to travel and preach. Life had seemingly come to a screeching halt. But that didn’t stop him from influencing others toward faith. Spending years being transferred from jail to jail, he found himself as a sort of freak show for ruling Roman authorities. They paraded him in front of a large crowd of elites at the amphitheater that still stands in Caesarea.

After years of waiting, Paul was given an audience with King Agrippa, one of the most powerful men in that region of the world. Joining the king were an army of commanders and the most prominent citizens of the city. Paul had gone from a prison cell to standing before the elite of the elite while still sporting chains. He knew that if he could influence them for Christ, he could influence all of culture.

I’ve been to the amphitheater where this audience was given. Every time I set foot there, this scene floods my mind. It never fails to inspire me. After spending years wasting away in a prison cell, Paul was still ready for his moment. While in chains, he took the stage and boldly shared his experiences, gave proof for the resurrection of Jesus, and pleaded for everyone in attendance to be like him in faith (minus the chains wrapped around his hands and feet).

In his waiting, Paul could have become soft. He could have become timid. He could have given up hope. But that’s not what true men of God do. In his waiting, Paul became stronger, bolder, and more assured of the importance of his message. So when his moment came, Paul didn’t shrink back from it. He grabbed it confidently.

We never know when it will be our time to step up and step out. We never know what great moments are right around the corner. We never know how our difficulties now will afford us future opportunities to be a blessing. Paul endured an unjust arrest, abuse, and years spent in prisons, waiting for a moment like this. He got on stage and absolutely crushed it.

I’ve accomplished a lot in my life, but I firmly believe it means nothing compared to what lies ahead. The greats in the Bible are always looking and prepping for the future, not reflecting on and mourning over the present and past.

Your life isn’t over after exiting the C- suite. Your future doesn’t have to be crushed after bankruptcy. There is a lot of life still ahead after a divorce. The accomplishments from when you were younger are only things that set you up for opportunities when you are older.

Pain and difficulty are part of life. But you and I can choose to believe they are preparing us for the future. No matter how difficult today feels, cling to the hope that your best days and your best opportunities are yet to come. Keep your eyes open looking for them, your muscles strong and ready to move when any opportunity comes your way.

In your waiting, don’t grow weak. Strengthen yourself for the day that is coming.

PRAYER

Father, I am inspired by the boldness of Paul and how he became stronger in his waiting. I want to become stronger too. Even when it feels like You are not working, I trust that You are. Even when it feels like everything is going wrong, I trust You are preparing me for something better. You are good and I choose to trust You. Amen.

GET MOVING

1. Everyone is waiting for something— a new job offer, a child, reconciliation with a parent, a better marriage. Whatever it is, waiting alone is harder than waiting with others. Right now, text a trusted friend and ask them to pray for you in an area where you feel yourself growing weaker in your waiting. Bonus points if you ask them to write out the prayer as a text and send it back to you. Read their words and find strength.

2. Getting older isn’t an excuse for growing weaker. Paul spent years in a prison cell but got stronger in his faith. Oftentimes, what we see and experience in the physical world is a reflection of spiritual truth. So drop down right now and do ten push-ups. Seriously. Feel your muscles get stronger from that exercise and let it propel you to keep your strength in all areas of your life.


Move Devotional: A Guide to Get Up and Go Forward
By Brian Tome / Zondervan Gift Books


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