Acts 21:11 And coming to us, he took Paul's belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, "Thus says the Holy Spirit, 'This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'"
Persecution for God doesn’t sound like a plan I’d like to sign up for, and I’m sure Paul would choose something else if he valued his own life more than his calling in God. Paul actually had a choice, in my opinion. He could have taken the prophetic warning of persecution and said “I’ll pass on that.” (A perfectly reasonable response and plan in my opinion.) The problem is, Paul knew it was God’s will for him to go back to Jerusalem, and God knew Paul would appreciate knowing ahead of time what it would cost him to continue to walk in his calling. Sometimes we aren’t guaranteed warm and fuzzy feelings of success for doing God’s work; in reality, we may be guaranteed rejection, disdain, and scorn from the one’s we serve. Paul’s promise from God was this: God would use Paul to spread the good news of Jesus Christ, and God would be glorified in the process. The binding of his hands and feet was a message from God that the promise to use Paul was as good as gold. Promises aren’t just about good things, they are about real things, and sometimes obeying God might hurt, and pain is real. The bigger theme in this story is this: I can choose to step into my promises by believing God, and then binding myself to the promises, so that every storm of doubt, every wave of fear, and the tsunamis size mood swings that come with such attacks, have absolutely no power to separate me from God, thereby stripping God’s promises from my future inheritance. My promises are a for-sure thing, as long as I identify God as the source and myself as the recipient. I need not fear “it won’t happen.”
Father, thank you for every promise you’ve ever given me. I choose to take your word for it, and remove doubt and fear from my emotional response. You said it; I believe it; that settles it.