Daily Devotions – God often wins the hearts of people through suffering

Daily Devotions – God often wins the hearts of people through suffering

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Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: https://sothrichfield.podbean.com

 

Acts 17:1-12  (NIV)
In Thessalonica
17 When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said. 4 Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women. 5 But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd. 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, 7 and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.” 8 When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. 9 Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go.

In Berea
10 As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.

 

Lord, sometimes following You is hard. It is not popular and it can be downright dangerous. There are people in this world who are killed and severely persecuted because of their faith. But it amazes me that belief in You is growing stronger in those areas. I have been blessed with the freedoms to worship You and have had relatively little resistance to my faith in the past. The faith of most people in our nation is not strong but nondescript. There are changes in this culture that it is making it more uncomfortable to be a Christian. Lord, help me to grow my faith deeper as I submit to You. Let me be a witness to those who do not know You to see that my commitment to You is greater than my fear of bucking the cultural trends. Allow Your Love, Forgiveness, and Grace to win over the hearts of the people in this land through faithful people holding firm to You and Your Word. Amen