Paul concludes this chapter with a prayer request.
He was traveling to Jerusalem to give the poor Christians sorely needed funds to survive. A gift from Christians scattered abroad. Paul understood this journey was dangerous.
Would the Lord deliver him from unbelievers, and would the believers accept the offering he carried?
Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints so that I may come to you by the will of God and find refreshing rest in your company. Now the God of peace be with you all.Romans 15:30-33
When Jesus shows us His will, the way may not be easy and it might be dangerous. Paul preferred to operate in the will of God. He was successful in his mission up to this point, he could have found a comfort place to retire. But Paul moved in harmony with God’s will and trusted in Christ more than he trusted in himself.
The same should go for us. We are safe as long as we move in harmony with God’s will, not matter what happens. Easy, certainly not, but always safe and secure because we belong to the Lord.
Not even death can separate us from the love of God.
Concerning the prayer request. Did the Lord answer their prayer? You can read what happened to Paul after he wrote the Roman epistle in chapters 22-28 of Acts. For three long years, the Roman church prayed for Paul.
Paul arrives in Jerusalem. The brothers there welcome him warmly and accept the gift for the poor. But some jews provoked a crowd against him. He was rescued by the commander of the Roman Troops.
Paul speaks to the crowd, but they are not prepared to change their minds. The Roman Commander was prepared to turn him over to the Jewish leaders until he discovered a plot to kill Paul. They had taken an oath to kill him and planned an ambush. But, even that plot was unsuccessful and Paul was safe.
Paul was transferred to Governor Lysias and kept under guard in Herod’s palace. Felix questions Paul, but he’s not convicted. Felix keeps Paul there for two years until Festus succeeds him.
Festus wanted favor with the Jews, so he continued to keep Paul a prisoner. Festus seeks counsel from King Agrippa. They send Paul to Rome to stand before Caesar.
Paul is handed over to a centurion named Julius of the Imperial regiment. There’s a shipwreck, but Paul does not escape. Paul and all aboard survive. Another ship is secured and Paul arrives in Rome.
Here’s how their prayers were answered:
Paul did arrive in Rome, but in chains. He did come with the joy of Christ and as an encouragement to them. (Acts 28:15-16)
The offering he carried to Rome was accepted (Acts 22:17)
In prison, Paul could not be silenced. He wrote the books of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon in prison. They deal with the most liberal truths imaginable.
AD 58 – Paul writes to the Roman church (Book of Romans) before traveling to Israel.
AD 58-60—Paul imprisoned at Caesarea
AD 60-61—Paul under house arrest
AD 67—Nero murders Paul—He’s with Christ today.
No one, apart from Christ, has shaped Christianity more than Paul. No one did more for the faith, and yet no one seemed more unlikely. Paul was a man of three worlds: Jewish, Greek, and Roman.
Paul’s missionary travels reaped a spiritual reward.
He reminds us we are not citizens of this earth, but citizens of heaven. As Christ followers, we are not of this world, but in it. He reminds us that once we were the walking dead, but now have new life eternal. We are washed, sanctified, justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11)
Today, just like the Roman Church, we who faithfully serve the Lord are compelled to pray for one another. We may not see all our prayers answered the way we want them to be answered, but they will be answered.
It is true, we will be in spiritual battles and undergo testings of every kind. But nothing can separate us from the love of God.
Danger is not something we make happen, but it is something we encounter. The battle is not ours, but the Lord’s, and we can safely come through it.
Let us trust the Lord regardless of what and stand in humble trust of our Lord Jesus Christ, just like Paul.
Get ready, for the Lord your God is with you!