Joy and encouragement in tribulation!
Scripture reading for February 10: Acts 14, Psalm 30, Proverbs 30
Acts 14:19-24 “But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. When they had preached the Gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in Whom they had believed.”
Paul certainly suffered for the sake of the Gospel, as Jesus had told him at his conversion. God’s Word is truth! Preaching the Gospel often brings persecution and it also brings salvation to those who receive the Good News! The mourning of sinners is turned into joy and rejoicing in eternal life and freedom from the bondage of sin. This brings praise to God and thanksgiving from the saved and also from those sharing the Good News! The job of elders in the church is encouragement, teaching of all of God’s Word, and building the faith in new disciples through prayer, fasting, preaching, and teaching! Rejoicing follows!
Psalm 30:11-12 “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing Your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to Your forever!”
Prayer: Father God, Thank You for Your amazing plan of salvation through the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I will praise You more and more, and not be silent! I will sing of Your glory and tell of Your Good News to all peoples. Fill me afresh with the Holy Spirit that I might powerfully preach to those still lost and make disciples who will be clothed in gladness and the white garments of salvation!
Proverbs 30:5-6 “Every Word of God proves true; He is a Shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His Words, lest He rebuke you and you be found a liar.”