Take Courage


Life isn’t always easy. Things don’t always go according to plan. Circumstances change. There are moments in life that leave us speechless, and there are moments in life that demand a response. It is in the moments of difficulty that most of us are susceptible to making compromises for the sake of comfort. In today’s passage, we are going to see a man who stood strong in the face of conflict and spoke the truth even when it was difficult.

  • How would you define courage?

READ THE WORD: ACTS 22:30-23:11 (ESV)

30 But on the next day, desiring to know the real reason why he (Paul) was being accused by the Jews, he (the Roman official) unbound him and commanded the chief priests and all the council to meet, and he brought Paul down and set him before them.

23:1 And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.” And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?” Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God’s high priest?” And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”

Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?” 10 And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him away from among them by force and bring him into the barracks.

11 The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Why was Paul placed on trial before the Sanhedrin?
  2. What happened when Paul spoke of the hope and the resurrection of the dead?
  3. How do you think Paul felt knowing that people were seeking to kill him because of his message?
  4. How did Jesus affirm and encourage Paul?
  5. Think of a time when you were involved in a situation where truth was challenged. During that time, did you make compromises or stand firm in what you know is true?


Paul once again found himself in barracks, with people wanting to kill him for teaching truth. At this point, he might have been wondering anxiously about the future and even discouraged by their rejection. The next night, Jesus showed up to encourage Paul and affirm his faithful proclamation of the death, burial, and resurrection. Paul refused to compromise the truth of the gospel for the acceptance of others. Paul’s courage to speak the truth was grounded in his belief that God was sovereign.

We live in a culture where speaking the truth isn’t popular and standing firm in truth may be hard and costly, but be encouraged, Jesus is still sovereign and his plans will prevail.

  • Pray that God would give you the courage to be faithful in both good times and bad.