8 Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, 10 said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking. 11 And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” 18 Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them.
Paul Stoned at Lystra
19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe.
The journey of reaching out to the world with the good news is never meant to be easy. Although the Great Commission was from the Lord, and the apostles had a clear calling and vision from the Holy Spirit to reach out to the Gentiles (Acts 13:2), the journey was still bumpy and rocky. And at times, it could even feel like a roller coaster ride. One moment, Paul and Barnabas received praise and god-like treatments for performing miracles, and the next, Paul was almost stoned to death by the crowd persuaded by the unbelieving Jews.
But daring faith looks beyond the immediate results. Whether it was immediate success or failure, it did not shake the apostles’ faith. They still clung to what they believed and what the Lord commanded, and they persevered. When the door was closed in one place, they moved on to the next. And praise God, they did not give up! Because of their daring faith and perseverance, we now have the chance to receive the gospel and continue on the journey they started.
When the Lord called us to go and make disciples of all nations, He did not promise it would be smooth and easy. But He proclaimed all authority in heaven and earth had been given to Him. (Matthew 28:18) He also promised the coming of the Holy Spirit, and we shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes. (Acts 1:8) May God give us the daring faith that is not resting on the result of our work but anchored in Him alone， cooperating and trusting Him to accomplish His will and work through the power of the Holy Spirit.