So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
- Acts 6:7
This is a regular refrain throughout the book of Acts.
In Acts 1:8 we see Jesus give his followers what seems to be an impossible mission. Then, month after month and year after year, we see them move forward on that mission. They make mistakes but they keep going. They stumble but they pick themselves back up. They hit roadblocks but they break right through.
And through it all God is at work.
As the followers of Jesus rise and meet challenges faithfully, the word of God spreads and more people join the community of people who love Jesus.
There seems – almost – to be a link between the challenges they face and the growth that they see immediately afterwards. In the midst of the challenges God is at work. Sometimes God is forming the character of the community. At other times, God is showing his community off to those on the outside. Whatever God’s doing, he’s not absent when his people are facing challenges.
When you find yourself on the back end of a difficult situation or season, don’t be surprised to find God bringing a new wave of growth, opportunity and life to your doorstep. He’s prepared you. He’s been at work while you were struggling. He still has his mission and he still wants you to be involved.
We love the line in today’s passage that mentions that a large number of priests became obedient to the faith. What could seem farther from the conflict we’ve been looking at this week? Greek widows now being cared for by Greek leaders in the Christian community. And yet God uses this to draw Jewish priests to himself. We have guesses as to how that worked, but we don’t know for sure. All we know is that it happened.
Where are you on the back end of a difficult situation? How do you think God’s been at work in and around you during this season? What would it look like for you to lean into God’s work in and around you?