During his ministry at Corinth, the strain of battle began telling on the Apostle Paul. He found himself haunted by fear and depression. Later he wrote of it.
“I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling” (ICor. 2:3).
It must not be supposed that fearlessness was characteristic of a nature so sensitive as Paul’s. On the contrary, he was often afraid. His, by the grace of God, was rather the courage that went on braving dangers in spite of his fears.
After having left the synagogue at Corinth, the strain of meeting, week after week, right next door, with all the embarrassing situations inevitably involved, may well have caused some of his followers, and possible himself, to question the wisdom and propriety of the step he had taken, adding to his mental depression (though this step, moving into the home of Justus, next door, was most appropriate under the circumstances). But the Lord was to endorse the act again in an unmistakable way.
It would appear from several passages in the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians (especially II Thessalonians 3:1,2), that this letter was written while Paul was becoming apprehensive about the work at Corinth and that it was after this that the Lord appeared to him in a vision to encourage him.
Let the reader try to place himself in Paul’s position while reading Verses 9,10 of Acts 18 so as to appreciate its force more fully:
“Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, BE NOT AFRAID,–BUT SPEAK,–AND HOLD NOT THY PEACE:–FOR I AM WITH THEE,–AND NO MAN SHALL SET ON THEE TO HURT THEE;–FOR I HAVE MUCH PEOPLE IN THIS CITY.”
Ah, tomorrow he could begin the work anew, assured in advance of the outcome! Whether he “continued” in Corinth (Verse 11) a year and six months longer or all together is perhaps impossible to ascertain, but we know that his ministry there was exceedingly fruitful.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.