Daily Devotional Sept 30th
“Lord, consider the threats [of the religious leaders] and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus” (Acts 4:29-30).
I find the response of the early church to persecution challenging. When we experience difficulties we pray for God simply to miraculously replace our discomfort with ease. Not so the early disciples. I was reminded of this fact this morning as I read in the book of Acts. After being arrested and spending a night in jail, Peter and John report was happened to the early Church. Nowhere do you hear in Luke’s account that they prayed to have the Church saved from this type of persecution. No, they prayed for courage amidst the persecution. The early believers assumed that ‘troubles and trials’ were their lot just as Jesus had predicted, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you” (John 15:18-19).
How often do today’s Christians waste their time praying for the world’s favour, rather than for divine courage? Rather than praying for an end to persecution and for our own personal safety and comfort, maybe we should be spending more time praying for ‘miraculous signs and wonders’ for the purpose of convincing a world that God really does exist. How we live on this planet, whether in obedience to Him or in obedience to our own willfulness, really does matter. These days there is much talk about repentance, returning and revival. But do we really understand what God requires, what it is we are to repent from? What are we wanting to return to–God’s ways or pre-COVID days? Do you actually recognize the ‘dead state’ of the Church that requires reviving? God knows the motivations of our hearts–what lies behind the words in our prayers. But do we? Just a little something to contemplate today...
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!