Daily Devotion - March 22, 2021 - Resilience

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion – March 22, 2021
Reading: Acts 14:19-28
Weekly Theme: The Wounds and Sorrows of Ministry
Today: Resilience

If you are looking at the theme for this week and you are like me, you might be thinking, “Why would I want to read something with the words ‘wounds’ and ‘sorrows’ in it?” I would encourage you to remember that we are in the season of Lent. We are called to pray for enlightenment, remember what Jesus taught us and did for us, read the scripture, and reflect on our lives. We are then called to repent for those things that impair us spiritually and commit ourselves to life with Christ full of a love and a desire to serve him completely. We need to also be honest that with the joy of serving Jesus there have been and still are wounds and sorrows in ministry.

As today’s reading from Acts 14 begins, Paul has just been stoned and dragged outside the city and left to die. In fact, his perpetrators, left him thinking that he was dead. His disciples gathered around him, he got up and went back into the same city where he was stoned. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe where they preached the gospel of Jesus Christ. They then went back to that same city where Paul had been stoned and there they strengthened and encouraged one another saying, “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God”. Paul and Barnabas appointed more elders, prayed and fasted with them, and commissioned them to go into four more cities to share the news of Jesus Christ. Then they regathered again in Antioch, the very place where Paul had been stoned and left for dead, and reported on all that God had done through them. God had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles…and they stayed at Antioch a long time.

These disciples had suffered and taken risks, yet they returned several times with faith to the very place where Paul was persecuted and trusted God to place a hedge of protection around them. The risk was worth the reward of knowing that the door of faith is opened to all.

Yes…being a Christian in a world that is ever changing and is full of so much discontent and hatred is difficult at times. But remember that God does not call us to a task and then abandon us; he gives us the resilience to complete that to which he has called us. Sharing the gospel of Jesus is something we are called to do and is challenging with the potential for criticism, ridicule and yes, even persecution. But God will be faithful and will give us all we need to go forth and make disciples of all nations. When the Christian life becomes difficult, just remember the resilience of Paul, and allow God to use you mightily to share the gospel as Paul did.

Dear God, thank you for the resilience you give us during difficult times. Help us to be strong when we are ridiculed about our faith and to trust in you. Help us not to be ashamed of the gospel and to know that you have promised to be with us always. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 
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