22 Saul's preaching became more and more powerful, and the Jews in Damascus couldn't refute his proofs that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. 23 After a while the Jewish leaders decided to kill him. 24 But Saul was told about their plot, and that they were watching for him day and night at the city gate so they could murder him. 25 So during the night, some of the other believers let him down in a large basket through an opening in the city wall. 26 When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They thought he was only pretending to be a believer! 27 Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the Lord on the way to Damascus. Barnabas also told them what the Lord had said to Saul and how he boldly preached in the name of Jesus in Damascus. 28 Then the apostles accepted Saul, and after that he was constantly with them in Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He debated with some Greek-speaking Jews, but they plotted to murder him. 30 When the believers heard about it, however, they took him to Caesarea and sent him on to his hometown of Tarsus. 31 The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it grew in strength and numbers. The believers were walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
Often times when we go through the toughest times in our lives, we feel our most alone. Whatever the situation: our jobs, finances, illness, death, depression, we may not call on our church, friends, and family for their help or comfort. Moreover, we usually don't consistently call on the Lord. Why is that? The Bible shows He is THE most consistent of all!
In the text above, God had transformed Saul from his evil ways. Saul then went out to preach the gospel even when people didn't believe he'd changed. They feared him! But, he continued, and finally, the other believers ultimately got the message that God had made a miraculous change in Saul, and they began to protect Saul. They worked together to keep him safe.
Many times, God puts other believers in our lives to help protect us and comfort us when we need it. We shouldn't forget that...as with anything, we need to use all the gifts, including the people, that God gives us. We each play a part in the Body of Christ. His gifts make us pretty good on our own...but we are greater in numbers...we are greater as His church! Amen!