17 From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. 18 When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. 19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents. 20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. 21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:17-24
We see the outward Paul and rarely get a glimpse inward. This is one of those occasions. It’s one thing if a law enforcement officer or FBI informs you that your life has been threatened, but when the omnipresent Holy Spirit warns you about impending hardship, it has to be taken seriously because God does not lie.
Paul had to have time to process these warnings. Fortunately he was surrounded by people who could encourage him and bring him back from the ledge, so to speak.
We all need those kind of people, don’t we? We need friends who are grounded and stable, and will call a spade a spade in your life when needed. But those friends also will be there when you’re facing life-endangering illnesses, grief over a loved one, or just stressful situations.
Reach out to one of those friends just to say “hey!” today.