I’ve noticed often in our culture that when we meet resistance, we can begin to think that we must not be doing God’s will. We rationalize that, “if this is really where God wanted me, He would have greased the skids and made it so much easier.” Seldom do we expect that our faithfulness would earn us something as serious as death. Yet that is exactly what happened for Stephen. He was faithful and he suffered because of it.
The righteous facing injustice is at the very heart of the gospel. Jesus faced injustice on the cross. As believers you will face it from an unbelieving world. Do not fall into the falsehood of thinking that just because you face set backs, ship wrecks, and martyrdom that you are on the wrong track. Press forward.
The Apostle Paul was converted from being a persecutor of the church (9:1-2) to one who would be persecuted for the church (9:16). There are seasons where everything seems to flow well and there is a lot of peace (9:31), but we should not be lulled into thinking that this is the only sign of God’s call and direction in our life. We should be ready to follow where the LORD would lead in both adversity and peace.
FATHER, Thank you for the incredible gift of salvation. Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit and His presence in our lives. We pray that we would be faithful to you in all circumstances. We pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world who are facing persecution even in this moment. We delight ourselves in you today. Thank you for the grace of leading your people. Thank you for times of peace and adversity. IN JESUS NAME, AMEN.
What did you take away from today’s reading? What are your thoughts or questions? Feel free to comment below and enter the discussion.