Acts 23:11 - The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”
It wasn't looking good for Paul. He was locked in prison, but his trouble didn’t stop at that. There were over forty men who had taken a vow not to eat or drink until they had killed him. Paul had been warned by the Spirit that he would face prison and hardship and now he was in the middle of it.
It’s hard to say what Paul was thinking at this time, but as we know, it is easy for our minds to wander. He was locked in prison, alone, away from all his friends and fellow believers. And even if he was released from prison there was a mob that wanted him dead. It could get discouraging, but the Lord is an encourager.
God saw Paul sitting alone in prison, without anyone that could support or encourage him in this time of trouble. So He did it. God knew Paul needed encouraged, so He came and stood near him. “Take courage!” He said, “As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so also you must testify about me in Rome.”
Notice that The Lord did not stop at just giving Paul encouragement. He continued on to confirm to Paul that he was on the right path. When we face trials in the midst of following God we often question whether we heard God right in His plan for us. Beforehand we can be confident in what God is leading us to do, but then once it becomes hard we’re not always so sure. That’s when we need most to hear the voice of the Spirit.
God’s Spirit speaks to your heart and mind, letting you know that you are not alone. When you are walking in God’s will it will not always be easy. We must learn to trust God and let Him carry us through the hard times. There is always victory in following God if we trust Him.