Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told.Acts 27:25 (NASB)
I find comfort thinking about angels, and I enjoy the reminders we have recorded in the Bible of when angels strengthened people. I always feel a little tingle and warmth when I think about it!
6 Greats Who Were Comforted and Encouraged by Angels
1. Elijah, the Prophet
The prophet Elijah felt afraid after his life was threatened. He ran into the wilderness for safety feeling alone, rejected, and ready to give up. He fell asleep under a tree then awoke to find a jar of water and a warm cake that had been prepared by an angel. Just think how encouraging and refreshing that would be! What a wonderful sight to wake up to! He went back to sleep, then awoke to find the angel still there. This food and angelic visit strengthened him for an unplanned journey for the next 40 days and nights!
(You can read more about this in 1 Kings 19.)
2–4. Three Friends, in Exile
Many years later, the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar decreed that anyone who did not worship a golden image he had set up would be thrown into a fiery furnace. Three Jewish exiles refused to worship anyone or anything other than the true Creator. So Nebuchadnezzar ordered the three to be tied up and thrown into the blazing fire. The fire was so hot that the Babylonian servants were killed while throwing the three Jewish men into the flames. But Nebuchadnezzar looked into the furnace and saw these three men walking freely in the furnace as well as a fourth man who must have been an angel. Imagine how these three men would feel; they were willing to face death rather than participate in false worship, then they were joined by an angel in a fire. What a great comfort and assurance that God is always with us!
(You can read about this in Daniel 3 where you’ll find that the 3 men left the furnace without any harm or even smelling like smoke. Amazing.)
5. Jesus, Our Lord
Even Jesus Christ was strengthened by an angel. When he and his disciples were in the garden praying shortly before his crucifixion, the disciples kept falling asleep while Jesus kept praying. He knew what he faced. And no doubt there was fear and dread. Luke records that an angel appeared and strengthened him. He knew his Father was with him but having an angel there must have given him the courage to keep going.
6. Paul, the Apostle
Acts 27 details events of one of Paul’s sea journeys when he faced a great storm. The sailors, who were actually soldiers guarding Paul while he was a prisoner, had hopefully thrown supplies overboard to lighten the load in order to survive the storm. Still the storm raged but now they had no food. Paul’s hope was strengthened by an angel who appeared to him; he told the sailors with him about the angel, saying, “Keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told.” He didn’t doubt. And he passed on his hope to the sailors.
We have so much encouragement recorded in the Bible! The Bible should be to us like this angel was to Paul; it should give us hope, and we should remind those around us to keep being faithful and not lose hope. God has promised much to His family, and He keeps His promises!
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