My skeptical mind instantly thought ‘huh?’ when I read ‘the Lord stood by him [Paul]’ (cf. previous post, I just commented in a square bracket [whatever that means]) yesterday morning. But then something happened last night and perhaps now I could appreciate why Luke wrote it that way. I guess he simply wanted to say that our Lord really, really, really stand by us in the midst of our suffering, pain, problems (he stood by Paul after Paul was brought to the Sanhedrin). He is neither ‘out there’ nor ‘up there’ when we suffer; he is by our side. That’s why we are told by the Lord to ‘be of good cheer.’ Be of good cheer, indeed.
(I still think it’s a figure of speech, though, so you might disagree with me on this one)