Paul conveys his conviction and prayer while in chains. He is dedicated to stand for Jesus, no matter what the outcome. He is leaving that in God’s hands.
Paul’s fate is uncertain. He has been in chains for a LONG time. He was taken in Jerusalem when he went into the temple after delivering gifts to the saints there. He was sent to Caesarea to thwart a plot on his life. He appealed to Caesar when the Jews tried to kill him there. He was then sent Rome to stand before Caesar, along with being shipwrecked in the process. At the time of his writing this letter he had been imprisoned in one form or another for about 6 years. He was renting a house at this time and being guarded there, but he was still a prisoner and under guard. And he had no idea how much longer this situation was going to go on.
All these long years Paul never took the easy way out. He held strong in the faith and shared the gospel at every opportunity. MANY lives were changed as a result of his imprisonment. God used his time greatly but Paul didn’t know what was to come next. This was before the great persecution of Christians in Rome but that didn’t make Paul’s fate any less uncertain.
What Paul was certain of though was that his love for Jesus would see him through, whatever the outcome. He was prepared for death. He would even welcome it when/if it came because then he could finally be with Jesus. Paul was equally prepared to continue on in his role as servant if that is what God chose to do.
He was still human just like the rest of us so he asked for prayer. Not prayer specifically for deliverance but prayer that he wouldn’t be ashamed to speak of Jesus no matter what the cost. Paul was fairly sure he would live because he was still needed here on earth.
Paul was not afraid of the outcome or his fate because, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (verse 21). Paul knew where he was going at the end of this life. He also knew what he would be doing until then.
I know my future. It is with Jesus. I wish I could be as certain as Paul was about his earthly purpose. But whatever purpose God has me on earth for, I pray for courage to fulfill it. But as a child of the King, I know that no matter what happens in this life, my future is in His hands and I am secure.
Father God, thank You for that surety. Thank You that I can KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that You are in control of my future. Thank You that I KNOW that I am Yours and all Your promises are mine. I didn’t earn them but I received them when I asked Jesus to be Lord of my life. When I surrendered control. I was never in control to begin with. That’s the big lie so many people are still falling for. If Jesus isn’t in control then Satan is. I KNOW which one I want in charge of my life! Thank You Lord Jesus for all You did to buy my freedom from Satan. Thank You that one day we will sit on that bench together and address every question You ever put in my heart. Thank You that You are with me every moment before that day too.