“The Lord stood at his side.” (Acts 23:11)
Why isn’t this one of the best-loved and most quoted verses in the Book of Acts? It is amazing and wonderful, that the living Lord Jesus would appear to Paul in his time of need, and come and stand with him. But the truth is, that through His Holy Spirit, He is also just as present with us right now!
The fact that Jesus was “at (Paul’s) side” did not mean that things were going to be easy for him. Paul was going to trial; he would spend years in prison; he would testify before hostile people; he would endure many hardships, and he would eventually face death. Jesus being “at his side” didn’t mean that things would be be easy. It just meant that as he faced them, Jesus would be with him, and would give him all the strength that he needed.
We can have that same assurance. Through His Spirit, Jesus is “at our side” as well; even more so; He is in the heart of every one of His followers. As with Paul, this does NOT guarantee that everything will be easy for us, either. Like Paul we will face some difficult things. We may even face death. But also like him, we can be upheld by the confidence that Jesus is at our side. He will never leave us. And He makes all the difference.