By Larry Ray Hafley
Later in the life of Paul, we will find the road to Rome fraught with doubt and danger, but the road to Troas was a first perplexity. Troas was the threshold of the “Macedonian call.” It was the prelude to the planting of the gospel seed in Europe. It was the Spirit’s summons to the side of lady Lydia. It was the introduction to perils and pitfalls leading to the house of the jailer in Philippi. From the riverside to the comforts of Lydia’s domicile to the dark dungeon of suffering, songs and salvation, Paul was led on the road to Troas.
After establishing churches in the faith and distributing the decrees of the apostles and elders in Jerusalem, Paul and his companions entered the highlands of Phrygia and Galatia, but were “forbidden” by the Holy Spirit to “preach the word in Asia” (Acts 16:6). Next, by taking a northern road, they determined to go into Bithynia which lay along the shores of the Black Sea. Again, the Spirit “suffered them not.” They could not go west; they could not travel to the northeast. Why not? What now? These questions must have crept into their minds. Not allowed to proceed either to the left or to the right, they went straight ahead. They took the road to Troas.
There they found Luke. That would have been reward enough for their thwarted plans and purposes, but there was more in store. There was, as we previously stated, the continent of Europe, and the future fond fellowship of the faithful Philippians.
Perhaps you are on a road to Troas. Paul could not foresee the matchless, marvelous blessings that would ultimately sustain and support him as he ventured into Philippi, but he often may have reflected on the route and the road to Traos that led him to the brethren who would become his “dearly beloved and longed for, (his) joy and crown” (Phil. 4:1). Likewise, you may be experiencing uncertainties and roadblocks on the path of life. You may feel a sense of consternation, aggravation and frustration as your every effort is stalled. It is time, then, to take the road to Troas. That does not mean that the woes of whippings and the stocks of injustice are past. No, all those things were in Philippi. They waited as surely as did sister Lydia and the comforts of her home. However, the lasting love and support of kindred spirits was to sustain Paul all the rest of his days. Your map may be garbled and confusing, but follow on in faith and prayer. God will direct you as you trust and obey him (Prov. 3:5-7). Only in this way will you find your Philippians who will nourish and cherish you.
First, though, you must take the road to Troas.
Guardian of Truth XXXIV: 9, p. 269
May 3, 1990