Session 23

What are you doing, God?

From Acts: A 28-Day Devotional


Acts 23

Unaware of who he’s talking to, Paul insults the head priest. Although Paul apologizes, people want revenge. Several Jews vow to kill Paul and start plotting an attack. Paul’s nephew overhears the plan and alerts authorities, who transfer Paul to another city.

Paul shared his story before a violent crowd of people. Perhaps a few hearts were softened, maybe even changed by his message. But mostly his message was greeted with resistance.

Paul could’ve been bitter about his circumstances. He could have been angry with God. Beaten, attacked, pulled on, and almost torn to pieces, Paul was aware of the purpose behind his hardship. In Acts 23:11, the Lord tells Paul, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”

Paul could have seen his circumstances as a series of bad days. But through each twist in Paul’s trial, God made a way for Paul to share his story with as many people as possible. Paul pressed on to finish the race to which he was called. Comfort, safety, and personal preference were not considerations. The good news was ever on his lips and the gentle encouragement of a compassionate Father in his ear saying, “Take courage!”

Paul had eyes to see the Lord at work in his circumstances and ears to hear God’s consistent reassurance of His certain faithfulness.


  • What does this passage teach us about God? How does it apply to you?
  • How do you see God wanting to use your current circumstances for spiritual benefit, whether it’s your own or someone else’s?
  • What hypocrisy does Paul call out in the high priest in Acts 23:3? Why is it dangerous to say one thing yet do another?

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