Do you ever worry that there is an effort to silence Christians through various forms of persecution? After a year where the churches were closed and statements of faith being declared hate speech and people being taken off social media for presenting Biblical truths . . . it’s hard not to wonder where our nation is headed.
Luke wrote the following about the days, weeks, and months that followed Stephen’s martyrdom.
A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered…Acts 8:1
The effort to stomp out the Christian faith did not have the desired outcome. In fact, the results were exactly the opposite.
Like the proverbial “throwing gasoline on the fire,” the believers scattered to other areas with their hearts “on fire” with the Good News about Jesus.
The believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went and…
- crowds listened. (v.6)
- miraculous signs were given. (v. 6)
- evil spirits were cast out. (v. 7)
- people were healed. (v. 7)
- there was great joy in the city. (v. 8)
People believed Philip’s message of Good News concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. As a result, many men and women were baptized.Acts 8:8
The truth is that sometimes we have to get uncomfortable before we’re willing to get moving.
And yes, no one wants to experience discomfort and they definitely don’t want to face persecution but God is able to use both to light a fire in us and make us bold . . . using this very time to spread the message of His saving grace.
Sometimes it’s being uncomfortable that moves us to find our strength in Jesus.
It’s tempting to give in to fear when we hear that persecution is increasing. But God is greater and the powerful message of His love is still able to meet people where they are and transform them with the TRUTH about Jesus. You and I can live confidently knowing that no matter how hard evil people try to defeat the Gospel – the power of the Word made flesh, the Savior, the King of kings and Lord of lords will forever and always go forward changing lives for eternity.
A Prayer to Find Your Strength in Jesus
Father, it is hard not to worry when I hear about churches being closed, businesses being sued, and people losing their voices online. It is harder not to be afraid when I hear about followers of Jesus in other parts of the world being imprisoned, “reeducated”, and even killed for their faith.
But again, there is “nothing new under the sun.” Since the beginning of Your church, people have tried to silence Jesus’ followers through persecution. But by the power of Your Spirit, You have given Your children strength in Jesus. You have sent them where You wanted them to go and given them the TRUTH You wanted them to proclaim. And You have transformed lives through faith!
When I am momentarily silenced by fear of persecution, please help me. Fill me with Your Spirit and turn the focus of my heart and mind to Jesus, who is my strength and the source of my faith. And in whose name I pray. Amen.
The enemy of our souls wants us afraid and silent. But empowered by God’s love through the Holy Spirit we can do the impossible . . . we can have strength in Jesus to share our story of the way the Good News of God’s saving grace transformed our lives. And when people see “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control,” (Galatians 5:22-23a) in addition to our strength and courage in the face of fear . . . they may just want to know more about Jesus, too.
On today’s note write:
There is strength in Jesus when I am afraid.
God bless you today and give you all the strength you need as you trust in Jesus.
Click here to read the rest of Acts 8.
Thank you so much for joining me today.
And a thank you to BibleGateway.com for sources.
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