Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, “My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.”  At this the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth.  Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!”
 The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”
Paul said and did what was right in the eyes of God regardless of the consequences or to whom he was talking. He was not intimidated by people or situations, knowing full well what was likely to happen to him as a result.
Jesus then gave him affirmation and encouragement to press on with strength.
We need to use Paul as an example. An example of fortitude; an example of standing strong for our Lord. I would say that the dangers to most of us are not as severe as they were for Paul, so there is really no excuse for not standing for what is right. Speak up. Speak the Truth of Jesus Christ.
How often are we confronted with situations where we need to make a stand for the Lord? A stand in our actions and our words? We are presented with situations every single day when we should not be silent.
As the church, we are the salt and the light – preserving the Lord’s Truth in this world, preventing the rot of Satan’s threat among us, and showing the world the Light of the Gospel.
This example of fortitude from the Apostle Paul should be a call to action. We cannot sit on the sidelines mourning the loss of Christian values in this country, thinking that it is some other Christian’s duty to speak up for the Lord and for our Christian values. We need to get off the sidelines and act. Whether it be in one-on-one or group situations, we need to speak up when we hear things that go against the will of the Lord.
There is no need to fear. The Holy Spirit will give us words and strength when we need it and the Lord will give us affirmation if we look and listen for it.
Lord, without You I am nothing. Without You I’m not good enough. Without You I’m not strong enough. Lord, give me the fortitude of Paul it these situations. Guide me with your Spirit and give me words when I need them. Let me not be silent when I see and hear things around me that are contrary to your will. In Jesus’ mighty name I pray, amen.