When circumstances beat you up, what do you do? Lie down in defeat or get up. Persevere or quit? God has a call on your life. Are you moving toward and walking in what He’s called you to do?
Acts 14:19-20 NIV
Then some Jews came from
Paul and Barnabus have been out preaching the good news of Jesus Christ. They witnessed the power of God through Jesus Christ heal a crippled man. This stirred up hostility with the Jews. So the Jews from
I just wonder if at this point if Paul, in agony and full of pain, just wanted to lie there and die. If in his pain he just wanted to be left alone. I wonder did he even let the “why me?” thoughts enter his mind. To see such a great victory in Christ and then to experience such a low point, do you think that would be disappointing? How often do we think like that? Be disappointed? Honestly, I know I have had those kinds of thoughts. We don’t know what Paul’s thoughts were at this moment.
We do know this—the disciples gathered around him. When he was beaten, his trusted, godly friends were there for him. They protected him. Perhaps they encouraged him too. We need godly friends to encourage us to press on. We need godly friends who will gather around us as we get up. Paul’s friends took him back into the city for the night and they left the next day. Then Paul and his disciples went right on preaching in the next city, Derbe.
Acts 14:21-22 NIV
They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and
After winning a large number of people to the Lord in Derbe, Paul and his disciples go right back to the place where he was stoned. Crazy! Wouldn’t you think they’d find another way home? No, he didn’t. Paul wanted to encourage the new disciples in their faith. He wanted to let them know to remain true and faithful.
As disciples for Christ we will face many difficulties. He was an example to the people who witnessed his stoning by getting up and going on about what the Lord called him to do. As believers in Christ we need to walk out our faith in hardships as examples to encourage other believers.
Later Paul tells Timothy (who by the way is from Lystra), “You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:10-12 NIV)
Let us be encouraged! The scriptures tell us we’ll have persecutions. James tells us to “consider it pure joy” because when our faith is tested, it produces perseverance. We need perseverance to that we can be mature and complete. It’s how we learn and grow. The other night when my friend came over to encourage me, she told me, “God uses our circumstances to shape our character.”
FULFILL THE CALL
Paul clearly knew his purpose to preach the gospel of Christ. He did not let circumstances beat him down. Paul had been imprisoned, flogged, lashed, beaten, stoned, shipwrecked and more (complete list in 2 Cor. 11). He never quit. As believers, we need to know our purpose. It needs to be clear and evident in our lives or else it will be too easy to quit.
The purpose the Lord has for me is becoming more and more evident (other than being a wife and mother which is my first ministry). God is revealing this call through people and circumstances that He places in my life. Opportunities have recently opened for me in the area of teaching, speaking, and writing. On May 5-7, I am registered to attend a speakers and writers conference by CLASServices. I’m taking advantage of additional services CLASS offers and submitted a book proposal and sample manuscript for critique. I haven’t done anything like this before, but felt deep in me I had to do it. That was the deadline I had to meet this past weekend. It had to be in the mail on time. After I receive this training, I have already been asked to speak at a women’s event on May 17. May God receive all the glory!!
I thank all of you who prayed for me this past weekend. It meant a lot to me as you were the friends who gathered around me when I was “beaten down.” In spite of the hardships, I feel such a burden to press on with what the Lord has put on my heart to do. I can’t quit, but must persevere!
What's your calling? Get up, persevere and fulfill God's plan for your life! Let's encourage one another and...
Luke 18:1 (NIV)
“…always pray and not give up.”
Blessings in Christ--