Faith Under Duress

Today’s Readings 2 Samuel 6, 1 Chronicles 13, Psalm 60, Acts 23

It’s God’s plan.  God has a purpose for everything.  God’s timing is not our timing.  Just wait, God will show you the way. We do not understand now but God will reveal to us the purpose of His plan when we get to Heaven.

Have you ever been in a tough season of your life, and someone told you these things?

Today’s reading is Acts 23.  During the previous chapters, Paul was on his journey to evangelize Christianity and spread the Gospel to the Gentiles.  In chapter 21, Paul was urged by the disciplines not to travel to Jerusalem.  Paul was convicted and knew he needed to go there.  Paul was arrested in Jerusalem for taking Greeks into to the temple and was attacked by a Jewish mob.  Chapter 23 brings us to Paul’s trial before the Sanhedrin, where he professed his belief in the Risen Christ, and he is not backing down.

In the book of Mark, Mark provided direct insight from Jesus about the persecution and future struggles of those who would spread Christianity.

In Mark 13-9-11, Jesus said the following:

9 “But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to the councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues.  You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for the testimony to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. 11 But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.”

If you have been through trying times like I have, “God’s timing” doesn’t feel so timely.  The wait, the uncertainty, and the challenges can be daunting.  Perhaps you are going through an illness, marital challenges, family strife, or a job loss.  I think we all can relate to heartache and uncertainty which can push our faith to the ultimate levels of questioning the reason for these trials.  Is God punishing me?  If there is a God, why does he allow me to go through pain and unhappiness?

While Paul was in jail, he learned through his nephew that the Sanhedrin put together a plot to kill him.  Here is Paul, traveling from city to city, spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ and fighting for his life.  He sits in jail, trying to navigate getting a message to the commander regarding this plot, hoping to find a way to escape.  Would he be killed?  Would he be saved?  Would he suffer and be beaten?  Even one of God’s most devoted and notable disciples suffered uncertainty and pain not knowing “God’s plan.”

May we turn to the Gospels to read and learn of devoted servants who endured great pain. Job, Moses, David, and Peter all suffered great pain, uncertainty, and challenges for their faith.  May we gain strength and resolve and lean on each other during tough times.

Published by

Chad Bandy

I am a Jesus follower, husband, and father. I am a work in progress who tries to be better each and every day, with the help of Christ.