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Thankful & Courageous, Acts 28:11-16


Thankful and Courageous

Text:Acts 28:11-16

In Acts 28, Paul is under arrest, a prisoner on his way to Rome, and in verse 15 it is recorded that ‘he thanked God and took courage’  May you and I be encouraged to thank the Lord for the past, and to trust him for what is to come!

The Colosseum at Rome

1. Paul’s attitude to the Past!


  • Why did Paul thank God for the past?  He thanked God…
    • For the very existence of the Church as a group of His people Surely it is the Lord Himself who has drawn us together and caused us to actually exist as a group of His own people! READ 1 Peter 2:10  And in a more personal sense, have we not so much to be thankful for, that God took people who were sinners, and who had utterly rejected God in their hearts and their lives, who were without Christ, and without hope and without peace, away out in the world, and He called us, and he convicted them of sin, and convinced them of the need for salvation, and brought them to the cross and forgave their sin and pardoned them and brought them into the Kingdom and family of God!  Mark 12:11. We should truly thank God, both for our own personal salvation and for drawing us together as a band of His elect people.
    • For our preservation to this day Did you ever notice that when God’s church is depicted in Scripture, it is often seen as being a city besieged, or a vessel at sea…  The church is always surrounded by evil and temptation and satanic forces.  But the Lord has preserved His people!  The Lord dwells in the midst of His people, and is a wall of fire around them in times of danger!
    • For the blessings and benefits we have enjoyed Think of how the fellowship has been a happy retreat from the world, how many have found there a group of helpful and caring friends, and some have found the Lord!
    • For His divine approval of our work The cause has not died, the light has not gone out, and the Lord is still with His people!  And is it not for His approval that we seek?  Do we have the same desire for God’s approval as that pianist had for his teacher’s praise? Our Lord’s approving smile is what really matters. 
  • How did Paul thank God for the past!
    • Say so!  At every opportunity, let it be known that you are thankful to the Lord for what he has done!  Don’t give His glory to someone else!  Tell people that the Lord has been with you, and has blessed you and has kept you and that are thankful unto him!  1 Samuel 7:12  He was thankful for the past, and he wanted to tell everyone that it was all the Lord’s doing that he was preserved!
    • Thank Him in a spiritual manner!  Thank Him today from the very depths of your soul!  Our spirits should be filled with the spirit of thanksgiving!
    • Thank Him together!  All God’s people should be involved in the giving of thanks unto the Lord for His work in our midst!   Psalm 150:6.  When we see the work of the Lord continuing, we should all thank him, from the youngest to the oldest saint!  And that praise should be harmonious, and pleasing to the Lord!
    • Thank Him in practical service!  The blessing of the Lord toward us demands a present response!  Not only should we speak forth the praise of God in words, but in deeds!  Our thankfulness to the Lord is best expressed in continuing service!  Our lives should show forth our praise of God!

Paul was THANKFUL for the past!

2. Paul’s Attitude to the Future!

Paul TOOK COURAGE for the future! Great trials lay ahead for Paul, including the prospect of being brought before Caesar to account for himself.  But Paul could take courage in the Lord!

  1. Our past enemies and struggles are behind us!  I’m sure that as you think back over the years; you will remember many problems along the way.  So it was with Paul!  But those are past so now let us look to the future! Take courage!
  2. Our God is still as powerful!  God is still all sufficient, and all powerful.  He has never altered, for there is no shadow of turning with the Lord!  Take courage!
  3. Our Saviour never changes!  The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday and today and forever!  We have lived by faith in him and he has not disappointed us!  Take courage!
  4. Our Comforter still guides us!  The blessed third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is still guiding his church and still convicting sinners of their sin and their need of the Saviour.   Take courage!
  5. God’s promises never fail!  It is His providence that shall guide us in future days!  

Ultimately, we take courage because of the certainty that we have in the future!  For those of us who know Him as Saviour and Lord, and who are born again by the Holy Spirit, we have an assurance – that we shall one day be brought safely home to heaven to be with the Lord!  

Well, Paul is now in Rome, and the centurion, Julius, who had been so kind to him along the way, was relieved of his responsibility.  The prisoners were all handed over to the authorities at Rome. They would have been imprisoned in the city gaol – not at all a pleasant place. I wonder did the centurion do Paul one final favour – I wonder did he arrange for the Apostle to have a different arrangement!  He was placed under house arrest, with a personal guard.  V16, 

In our next study, we’ll see that this form of containment did not prevent him from meeting with and addressing the local Jews!

© Bob McEvoy, March 2022

One Comment
  1. Henry H McAuley permalink

    Praise God for what He has done, is doing and will do ..for me, for others, sinners, saved and kept by grace.

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