Summary: 1. Trust the Lord to comfort you. 2. Ask the Lord for more commitment to His cause. 3. Ask the Lord for the courage to do the right thing. 4. Do whatever you can to help. 5. Trust the Lord to take care of you.
When Things Are Out of Our Control
The Book of Acts - Part 81
Acts 23:6-35 (Read vs. 6-11)
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - May 3, 2015
*Here in Acts 23, Paul was in Jerusalem, in spite of many warnings from the Holy Spirit not to go there. John Phillips gave this good explanation of why Paul was so determined to go:
-"Paul knew that he was in for a rough time in Jerusalem, because the Holy Spirit had told him so plainly. God gave added confirmation in place after place. Paul would be arrested and afflicted if he went to Jerusalem. He knew it in his innermost soul. He knew it from God. But he was determined to go.
*Paul had done much harm to the Jerusalem church in his unconverted days, had made so many widows, so many orphans, so many beggars. Now he had a chance to relieve the sufferings and hardships of the poor saints in Jerusalem with a generous gift collected from the churches he had planted in the Gentile world.
*Paul felt he had an obligation to go. He longed to see, with his own eyes, some of the damage repaired, and the Holy Spirit respected that. He allowed Paul to go. But God left Paul in no doubt as to what he could expect." (1)
*Paul had been in the city less than 2 weeks when a violent mob rose up against him. Acts 21:30-36 tells us:
30. . . All the city was disturbed; and the people ran together, seized Paul, and dragged him out of the temple; and immediately the doors were shut.
31. Now as they were seeking to kill him, news came to the commander of the garrison that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.
32. He immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. And when they saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.
33. Then the commander came near and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and he asked who he was and what he had done.
34. And some among the multitude cried one thing and some another. And when he could not ascertain the truth because of the tumult, he commanded him to be taken into the barracks.
35. And when he reached the stairs, he had to be carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob.
36. For the multitude of the people followed after, crying out, "Away with him!''
*From that time on in the Book of Acts, Paul was under both the protection and the custody of Roman soldiers. And as they reached the steps leading up to the Roman fortress, Paul asked the commander for permission to speak to the crowd. In Acts 22, He was allowed to speak, and Paul began to give his Christian testimony.
*There was such a violent reaction that Paul was taken into the barracks, and he was almost scourged, but when the soldiers found out that Paul was a Roman citizen, they were terrified. They were terrified, because it was highly illegal to scourge an uncondemned Roman citizen.
*Acts 22:30 tells us that the next day, because the chief captain wanted to know for certain why Paul was accused by the Jews, "he released him from his bonds, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down and set him before them."
*Here in Acts 23, Paul was still before the High Council of the Jews. With all of this background in mind, let's begin by reading Acts 23:6-11, thinking about what to do when things are out of our control.
*When we are young, we like to think that we are in control, and this illusion can last far into our adult years. But time has a way of clearing up that misunderstanding! Over time, we are bound to find out that we are not in control.
*In fact, some of our greatest sorrow comes in those times when we are helpless to change the situation. Oh, if we could only fix it, -- but we can’t. That’s the kind of situation Paul was in here. And here God's Word shows us what to do when things are out of our control.
1. First, trust the Lord to comfort you.
*The Lord gave great comfort to Paul in vs. 11: "But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, 'Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.'''
*What assurance, what encouragement, what comfort! The Lord comforted Paul and He will surely comfort us.
 But we have to let God comfort us in His time.