“Now all glory to God, who is able to make you strong, just as my Good News says. This message about Jesus Christ has revealed his plan for you Gentiles, a plan kept secret from the beginning of time.” Romans 16:25 (NLT)
In Romans 16:1, the Apostle Paul makes a cameo mention of a lady by the name of Phoebe. Although we don’t know a lot about her, we know she was entrusted by Paul to take his letter to the Church at Rome and present it to them. With that said, she most likely read his letter to the church and expounded upon it to the believers there. It’s evident that Paul placed a lot of trust and confidence in Phoebe as he refers to her as a “deacon in the church in Cenchrea.”
In Romans 6:2 Paul writes; “Welcome her in the Lord as one who is worthy of honor among God’s people. Help her in whatever she needs, for she has been helpful to many, and especially to me.”
We don’t know what Phoebe’s life was like prior to her conversion to Christ, but we can certainly tell by reading these verses that she was a person with a real servant’s heart who made a big impression on Paul’s life. The name “Phoebe” in the Greek actually means “bright and radiant.”
Things weren’t easy for the church at that time in history. In fact, Paul wrote the book of Romans, which Phoebe was delivering, from a prison cell as the church had suffered great persecution. Can you imagine what it was like for the average believer, and especially a women believer? Yet, in spite of the current climate, Phoebe remained strong, courageous, and kept a heart that was willing to serve.
Things aren’t looking that great for the Church these days either. We are living in the day that Paul talked about when he said, “right would be called wrong, and wrong would be called right.” Many Christians around the world are falling under great persecution, particularly in Muslim countries.
Let’s determine, no matter what comes our way, that just like Phoebe, and with the help and Grace of God, we will stand strong, walk in love and let our lights shine – no matter what!