And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. Acts 13:52
When trouble hits a person, most people get depressed or discouraged. During attempts to accomplish something, it is common for a person to run into some roadblocks. Often this discourages the person and he gives up in order to try something different.
Joy is rarely seen in a person in the midst of major problems. Instead of joy one will see anger, frustration, depression, or fear. The focus or desire is often lost or given up.
As the disciples were preaching the gospel, many Jewish leaders were against them and pushed them out. The disciples left the area with joy and with God’s Holy Spirit.
The world does not like to hear the gospel message of Jesus. There are also many ‘believers’ in the church who get offended at hearing the full truth in God’s word. It means that they are wrong and must change. These people will often push out or persecute true believers who are preaching the whole of God’s word.
Just as the world gets depressed and discouraged, many believers will also get depressed and discouraged under persecution. This occurs because people have the wrong focus. Too many believers expect an easy, problem free life as a believer. Jesus actually promised the exact opposite.
Those who are going through trouble and persecution can have joy knowing that they are walking the path God has for them and that God is with them. During persecution, the believer can pick up and move on to the next location to reach others who are willing to listen. They do not need to stay stuck in one place, wallowing in despair of failure.
The joy of God’s salvation and presence gives the believer strength to move on despite all troubles.
As you are a witness for Jesus there will come times of trouble or persecution. Do not allow yourself to be discouraged or to give up. Look to God for your joy and strength.
Remember how much persecution Jesus went through for you. Remember that Jesus promised persecution. But also remember that God has promised you eternal life in the end with no more suffering.
Walk with joy and God’s Holy Spirit moving forward to a new place. Find new places to be a witness. Seek out others who will listen. Do not stop or give up. God is with you.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be a witness for Jesus; that God will fill you with His joy; that you will be filled with God’s Holy Spirit; and that God will give you strength during persecution and troubles.
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21
Any time things go wrong or have a major turn of direction, most people become afraid. They do not know what is next or always what to do.
Often when this occurs, people hunker down and hole up by themselves in fear. They do not want others to know of their fear as they are working on what to do next and handle the situation. They try to deal with it on their own.
Jesus had just been crucified and the disciples were living in fear of the Jewish leaders that they may also be killed. Suddenly Jesus appeared before them and told them to not be afraid. He also sent them out to be His witness.
It is common for many believers to act just like the disciples. They are walking down a path in life, when suddenly there is a turn of events. Everything and anything that could go wrong, does go wrong.
The world and even some believers begin to attack the person’s character and beliefs. Questions are asked if what is believed is real. There is no peace.
Despite the problems, Jesus is alive and is right there. As He said to the disciples, He is still telling believers to this day, to have peace and go out. God does not want the believer cowering in a corner in fear, but to have His supernatural peace that Jesus is alive and in control of everything.
When the believer has God’s peace, he will be willing to stand up and go out. He will no longer fear the world or the bad circumstances in his life, but will be a witness for Jesus. He will do what God asks of Him.
There will be times when life will look like it is going from bad to worse in your life. It will feel as if you have lost all hope and everyone is against you and your life is on the line.
During these times do not allow yourself to forget that on the third day Jesus rose from the dead. He is still alive and with you today. Jesus is still bringing you His supernatural peace.
Hold on to that peace and do what God commands you to do. Use the situation to go out and be His witness today with boldness.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know God’s peace in your life; that God will help you overcome all fear of the enemy; and that you will go and be His witness to all the world.