17 Paul and Silas passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia. They came to Thessalonica. A Jewish synagogue was there. 2 Paul went into the synagogue as he usually did. For three Sabbath days in a row he talked about the Scriptures with the Jews. 3 He explained and proved that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am telling you about is the Christ!” he said. 4 His words won some of the Jews over. They joined Paul and Silas. A large number of Greeks who worshiped God joined them too. So did quite a few important women. 5 But the Jews were jealous. So they rounded up some evil fellows from the market place. Forming a crowd, they started all kinds of trouble in the city. The Jews rushed to Jason’s house. They were looking for Paul and Silas. They wanted to bring them out to the crowd. 6 But they couldn’t find them. So they dragged Jason and some other believers to the city officials. “These men have caused trouble all over the world,” they shouted. “Now they have come here. 7 Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all disobeying Caesar’s commands. They say there is another king. He is called Jesus.” 8 When the crowd and the city officials heard this, they became very upset. 9 They made Jason and the others give them money. They wanted to make sure they would return to the court. Then they let them go.
Have you ever heard the gospel preached in a way that sounds like “just put your faith in Jesus, and your life will be easy”? I sometimes wonder if that is how I have been taking it to myself when I find myself exasperated and calling out to God: “Why is this life so hard sometimes!”
While God gives us the power and peace of
the Holy Spirit and an incredible gift of forgiveness and redemption that allows us to live out of a position of grace, God also calls us to do hard stuff. Sometimes ‘cos it’s important, sometimes ‘cos it’s good for us’ and other times, it’s more of a mystery. In any case, I can take great encouragement from the examples in the scriptures such as this one!
God, please increase my faith.
Written by Justin Ware