Those first believers were a odd bunch to bring together and so representative of all of us. They were able to face challenges and difficulties most of us would run from and yet as we read their stories, we find encouragement and inspiration to live our lives.
For example, the circumstances found in Acts 5.
We read of the apostles and Peter before the council, a predicament not unusual for them. The council has decided to kill them and only because Gamaliel speaks out, are their lives spared. The council takes his advice, letting them go, but only after they flog them.
The apostles react in two ways:
- they rejoice that God found them worthy to suffer disgrace for Jesus and
- they continued to preach the gospel.
After reading this, I questioned myself …
When facing hard times, do I get discouraged and give up, or do I persevere?
Now granted, I am not facing a council but there are challenges to be faced at times. Some days require more of us than other days. Navigation may not come easily so what are we to do then?
In pondering the question, I’ve been reminding myself:
- “I know that you can do anything and no one can stop you” (Job 42:2, NLT).
- “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has spoken – who can change his plans? When his hand is raised, who can stop him?” (Isaiah 14:27, NLT).
- “No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the Lord”
(Proverbs 21:30, NLT).
God has a plan for each of our lives and His plans will not be thwarted. But may we not forge ahead without His lead. This is the balance He has been teaching me as of late.
May He strengthen us to stay the course He has for us.
It is His plan which cannot be thwarted.