“The following night, the Lord stood by him and said, “Have courage! For as you have testified about Me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”” (Acts 23:11, HCSB)
Living the expatriate life requires courage and the acceptance of uncertainty. Navigating time zones, culture, laws and security issues comes with the territory. It can be challenging. When I struggle with the anxiety of entering a new environment, I am encouraged by the life of Paul and his ability to adapt and persevere in daunting circumstances. There are timeless principles in Paul’s behavior that are especially appropriate for my expat life.
Paul conducted himself as a good citizen with a good conscience (23:1). These qualities gave his words weight when speaking to the people and the religious leaders in Jerusalem (23:3). The honesty of his life and the truth of his words won him supporters, sometimes in unlikely circles (23:6-8).He communicated to people in their own language--to Romans in Greek (21:40) and to Jews in Aramaic (22:2). His training and experience gave him confidence in his convictions and the Lord’s guidance. He was passionate, yet respectful and firm (22:5).
The events that landed Paul in the Antonia Fortress left him with an uncertain future. Christ came to stand by him and said just what he needed to hear, “Take courage, you are going to Rome.” I too, hope for courage from the Lord in the face of uncertainty. He stands by me as well.