14 At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Greeks believed. 2 But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the other Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. 3 So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders. 4 The people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, others with the apostles. 5 There was a plot afoot among both Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, to mistreat them and stone them. 6 But they found out about it and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding country, 7 where they continued to preach the gospel.
Acts 14: 1-7
Opposition puts our faith to the test.
It isn’t the first time that Paul and his team were faced with fierce oppositions. Not only they impacted their ministry but also threatened their lives. However, they didn’t not back down nor take their ministry underground. They spoke boldly in the public, declaring their faith fearlessly, and witnessing to people earnestly. Such faith is radical. Such faith is unstoppable. How’s our faith compare the theirs? Is our faith well tested and proven to be purer than gold? Does our faith drive us to actions like Paul?
They remained resilient.
When we couldn’t meet indoor, we met outdoor. When we couldn’t go to church, we took church to our home, aka Zoom meetings. When we couldn’t eat together, we packed each other food and snacks to take home. ….. etc. It was our resiliency to come together. Likewise, When Paul couldn’t preach in one place, he went to the other. When people tried to stone them, they fled, not to find refuge, but to preach somewhere else. Where do you find such strong determination? What inspired them to be that resilient? Is it not the love of Christ? Is it not the revelation of the resurrected Lord? We too need such inspiration and encounter so that we can live out our faith like Paul.
Dear Jesus, please strengthen us when our faith is put to the test. please help us to be bold and continue to trust You. Amen