Looking straight at him, Paul realized he had faith to be healed. So Paul called to him in a loud voice, “Stand up!” And the man jumped to his feet and started walking. Acts 14:10
They stoned Paul and dragged him out of town, thinking he was dead. Acts 14:19
Paul and Barnabas encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God. Acts 14:22
The man faced the challenge of having been born crippled. He had faith and God healed him. Paul faced the challenge of first being worshiped like a “rock star” only then to be stoned a couple of hours later. But as the crippled man, Paul had faith. It was through his faith and by God`s grace that after being stoned he could get up to encourage the believers to continue in their faith despite the hardships they faced.
Just imagine getting stoned while working as an missionary. Man… – this would not only be a major topic in your next prayer letter. This would also be a good reason for a very long home assignment with paid professional counseling. But not so for Paul! He gets back on his feed immediately… – ready to encourage others. So often my emotions and my faith are driven by my situation. But not so for Paul. He is driven by God`s love and vision for his world. It`s in the risen Christ that he puts his faith. And it`s this faith which gives him the amazing energy he has.
Lord, thank you that you are in control of all situations. Help me to trust you today. Thank you for your love. I want to live my life not based on circumstances but based on your love. Amen.