The apostle Paul had gone to Jerusalem to share the gospel, and the next thing he knew, he was locked up in a cold, damp, dark prison cell.
I’m sure that on his first night there, he was a discouraged man, because the Lord said to him, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome” (Acts 23:11 NKJV). That phrase be of good cheer
could be translated, “be of good courage.” I conclude that Paul was a little bit discouraged, a little bit frustrated.
Whenever we read in the Bible of angels of the Lord appearing and saying, “Fear not,” it was usually because someone was afraid at that given moment. So when the Lord Himself said, “Be of good cheer, Paul,” he needed that special word at that particular moment.
Verse 11 of Acts 23 also tells us, “But the following night the Lord stood by [Paul]” (NKJV). Sometimes it seems as though the Lord is the only one standing by us. But if everyone else forsook Paul, Jesus was company enough. If all the others despised him, the smile of Jesus was approval enough. Though his circumstances were less than ideal, I’m sure Paul knew it was better to be in that jail with the Lord than anywhere else without Him.
Jesus is there in your prison as well, whatever and wherever that prison is in your life. He knows what you’re going through. You have a God who knows what it’s like to face what you’re facing. Therefore, go to Him. Bring your problems to Him. Bring your concerns to Him. Go boldly to His throne and receive the mercy and grace He will give to help you in your time of need.