by Crystal Townsend
Reading about the early church, I wonder what people were thinking. There was excitement as the apostles continued to serve God and do miracles in His name. There was also fear and uncertainty as the apostles were persecuted and the religious leaders attempted to stifle the spread of the gospel. What I find most intriguing and convicting is the obedience that Peter and the other apostles demonstrated. Things were not comfortable, their situation was changing daily, and they were under immense pressure. However, they continued in their kingdom work. They continued to be obedient as they were being arrested and flogged. They understood the cost of following Christ and they knew that it was not going to be an easy life or one filled with fame and glory. Yet, they were still willing to follow.
The apostles reacted to these trials with grace and joy. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I struggle with grace and joy…especially in the midst of uncertainty. My first inclination when I’m hitting roadblocks to “my plan” is not to rejoice, but to be annoyed. I will rejoice eventually, but it takes intentional prayer and sometimes being completely humbled. In this passage, the apostles rejoiced as they walked away from their latest beating. They followed Christ’s example and chose to be obedient to the Father’s plan. They chose not to give in to fear but to give up their own comforts as they spread the good news. I pray as we continue in obedience that we will have a heart filled with joy and grace, focused on glorifying God and spreading the good news! God is still at work and doing great things! Don’t be so distracted by our current circumstances that you fail to see what He is doing!