We have all experienced it; when we are new to something everything starts out great. Whatever it is, there seems to be a “honeymoon” period where things seem to be smooth and there doesn’t seem to be any major problem. After a bit of time; however, flaws begin to show and adversity sets in. When that happens, it is shocking and even if we know that adversity will come at some point we are still blindsided by it. When that happens, how do you react? Peter and John and all the believers were shocked back into reality when we read yesterday how the religious leaders put them in prison and threatened them not to preach about Jesus. This was the first time since Jesus’ death that someone was imprisoned to speak the truth. Please read the reaction of the believers in Acts 4:23-31.
The believers reacted by turning to prayer, which is the best response. Please notice how they prayed. They didn’t pray for the chief priests and other religious leaders to leave them alone; they could see in scripture that adversity would come. They witnessed how they put Jesus to death on the cross and that God has victory over death. They also saw that it was part of God’s plan. They prayed that they could be bold through their adversity; they prayed that others would see God’s power through miracles. In a few days we will see how God answered that prayer. But today, we read that, “the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” God gave them the Holy Spirit to embolden them to live and speak the truth.
I think of my reaction to adversity, and I often pray for it to go away. That prayer isn’t always the way God wants things to happen and I should be praying for strength, wisdom, and boldness through the adversity. It is in that prayer where God can use me the best; that prayer is where we get to witness firsthand the power of God in our lives. Remember what Christ promised us in John 16:33, “I have told you these things so that you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” We get to witness Christ overcoming the world!
What is your reaction to adversity? Do you turn to God and ask for strength and boldness?