The reading for today is Acts 14:19-28
In this reading from Acts, we find that the apostles are yet again, on the move. Afterall, this book is called the Acts of the Apostles. Here we find them while they are on their journey throughout Europe and Asia, doing what it is they do best, converting people to Christianity.
What strikes me as most interesting about this passage is found in verses 21 and 22.
“21After they had proclaimed the good news to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, then on to Iconium and Antioch. 22 There they strengthened the souls of the disciples and encouraged them to continue in the faith, saying, “It is through many persecutions that we must enter the kingdom of God.”
I’m not sure about you, but when I am wanting someone to try something out, I’m not inclined to tell them about the difficulties that might lie ahead. I think back to one of my favorite hikes in Southern California. The view from the top is gorgeous. On a clear day you can see out to the Pacific Ocean and back towards Downtown L.A. However, the last half mile of this hike is a very steep and often muddy trail. For new commers on this hike, I don’t mention that as it might deter people from actually trying! And as the going gets tough on this hike, I remind them of the great view and accomplishment that lies ahead.
I think disciples understood this concept too.
Being at peace and understanding about the wonderful things God has planned for you can only be understood fully through the struggles that we must endure. And when we find ourselves on the other side of the challenge, on the top of the mountain, looking back, we can say we are glad to have gone through it. The disciples understand this. They have been there. And as Christians, we understand this too – because we have been there. This is our journey and our story, and we know the greatness that awaits us when we stay the course.
2020 has been a challenge, and it is one that will go down in history – for better or for worse. And regardless of what challenges this year has brought us, we continue forward – keeping our hope in Christ Jesus.
Mysterious God, Your ways are not our ways; Your heart is not our heart. Forgive us. Be patient with us when we do not understand You or Your ways, Train us into the people You created us to be.
Louis Moehlman Louis@livinglord.org
Prayer Concern – Those who are lost in the challenges of these crazy times.