Morning devotions ~ Pushing Back

And someone came and told them, “Look! The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people.” [Acts 5:25]

Yesterday we heard that Peter and John were told not to speak about Jesus anymore. They responded that they were going to obey God rather than man. Bold faith.

Today (Acts 5), the apostles are arrested and thrown into prison for continuing their ministry. While in prison, an angel of the Lord opened the doors and told them to carry on. So they did.

[I just love this next part]

The next day the high priest ordered that the apostles be brought to him but when the officers arrived at the prison the apostles were gone. The guards were in place, the doors were locked but everyone was gone.

Where were they? [and here’s the part that I love] The apostles were back doing their thing; teaching and preaching about Jesus in the public square. The high priest had to be baffled and annoyed at their persistence. So in addition to being ordered to shut up, the apostles were beaten and then released.

The apostles’ response?

They rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer for Jesus.

Wow, I love that part but it does make me wonder how I would do under pressure like that. Would I stand up to a stern warning but then back down after being threatened with prison or torture or capital punishment? Would I rejoice that I was counted worthy to suffer for Jesus? Would I continue ministering knowing my very life was in danger?

I hope so and I pray everyday for the faith to stand because what a powerful witness to those who don’t believe; when they see Christians willing to suffer for their faith. Actions speak louder than words. It’s one thing to say you are a Christian but when the chips are down, are you really “all in” or are you all smoke and mirrors; just an allusion with no depth.

Your strength to stand depends not on you but on whether you truly believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose that YOU may be forgiven and thus live for ever with him in God’s Kingdom. So go to God in prayer; asking for the faith to stand and witness to the resurrection. Ask for strength and boldness to continue under pressure. And don’t be afraid.

Hold firm and believe in your heart that you are saved through faith in Jesus Christ. And when push comes to shove, don’t worry, God will push back.

Have a great day serving and witnessing to our risen Lord and may God be praised forever and ever.

The Pastor -|—