21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. 23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
24 Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. 25 And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia, 26 and from there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had fulfilled. 27 And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they remained no little time with the disciples.
Conviction in Heart
Even though there were many challenges along the way of their first missionary trip, the apostles did not stop because, in their hearts, they deeply believed that God had and would continue to use them to open the door for the Gentiles to accept salvation. They were so convicted of God’s calling that they:
- Left the disciples to continue their trip. Imagine how dangerous it would be for the disciples to face all the challenges alone, but the apostles believed this was God’s work and that He would protect them and continue their growth.
- Appointed elders. If it was dangerous for the disciples, how much more dangerous would it be for the elders. These elders believed in Jesus, but not for long; we do not have to be “perfectly mature” to serve God and help others; we need a willing heart.
- Reported the blessings to the Antioch church. To the apostles, they believed that God had opened a door for the Gentiles to accept salvation. They focused not on how difficult it was to open the door. They focused on the door that was actually opened, and many believed.
Dear, today when we are doing God’s work, we may or may not experience as many challenges as the apostles, focus not on the challenges but on God’s calling and the blessings we have received when we are heeding His calling.