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Romans 15:31: That I May Be Delivered From the Unbelievers In Judea . . .

Romans 15:31

That I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, (ESV)

There is an old song that has the lyrics, "You always hurt the ones you love." In the Apostle Paul's case a song could be written that would say, "You always get hurt by the ones you love." Paul was a Jew. He loved his people. In every city he would preach the Gospel to the Jews first, then the Gentiles. The thanks he received for his message of God's love was to be attacked in every city by the ones he loved.

This is why Paul says that he is hoping to be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea. Paul is seeking for prayer from the believers in Rome that God would deliver him from these unbelieving Jews. However, it is clear that whether the Jews attack him or not, he will not be stopped in his efforts of bringing an offering for the saints in Jerusalem. He will go, no matter what happens as a result.

The service that Paul provided for the believers in Jerusalem was acceptable. That part of his prayers were answered. Paul was also not hindered by the Jews in this delivery of financial support for the Christians in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, while Paul was in Jerusalem he was put into chains. The Jews would ultimately send the Apostle Paul to Rome where he was imprisoned.

Paul had made clear in this epistle to the church at Rome that he wanted desperately to see them. He was thrilled to connect with these believers and be a blessing to them. He ended up visiting Rome by way of a prison cell. I am sure that this was not Paul's plan. However, Paul's plans were always subordinate to the sovereign will of a perfect holy God, who works all things together for good for those that love him.

Sometimes people whom we love are the ones who hurt us the most. When you offer the loving message of the Gospel to people you love and they hatefully reject you, will you continue to love them? Will you trust God's plan even if it means something different than you have desired?