I AM With You
by David Thompson
Paul had a hard life. It seems, no matter where he goes some opposition rises up. In the passage we find Paul moving on from Athens to Corinth. It just so happens that a couple from Rome had just been required to leave Rome and move to Corinth. We find Paul meeting Aquila and Priscilla there. It turns out that Aquila and Priscilla are tent makers, as was Paul, so he stayed with them and worked both as a tent-maker and as a pastor attempting to convert the population to Christianity.
The term "tent-maker" is used today in small churches that cannot afford to pay the pastor a living wage. The pastor finds another job to supplement his or her income. Paul was the first "tent-maker." Like Paul, pastors of small congregations find that they are paid a part-time wage but have a full-time job. Paul was covered up with the problems of the people, the welfare of all and the preaching of the Gospel. He needed help and that came in the persons of Silas and Timothy. With them there to do all of the administrative work, Paul was freed up to primarily preach, but issues soon arose. The passage tells us that "...they opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” Harsh words, but certainly well deserved by the people of Corinth.
Paul was ready to give up on Corinth, but he did an interesting thing. He moved away from Aquila's and Priscilla's house and went to live right next door to the synagogue at Titius Justus's house. It turned out that Titius was the synagogue leader, and Paul's preaching and the Holy Spirit converted the whole Justus household. I am sure that baptizing this influential family really gave Paul some confidence and credibility. Along with that the Lord spoke to Paul and assured him that all was well and that no one would hurt him. With those assurances, Paul stayed on in Corinth for eighteen months preaching the Word of God.
Knowing that God is with us can really help us through the hard times. Know that God has a plan for your life, but life has its ebbs and flows. When the low times come, and they will, rebuke the evil one and cling fast to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. They will see you through.
Dear Lord, thank you for always being with us. Unlike other religions, you are faithful and a real presence in our lives. Celebrate with us in the good times and console us and carry us through the bad times. You are our all in all. Amen!