Venturing Into Uncharted Territory: Stirred, Not Shaken
In Acts 17:1-10, we glimpse Paul’s audacious zeal as he embarks on one of his most pivotal missionary journeys, passionately sharing the Gospel message. These verses highlight an essential truth – living for Jesus is not a path paved with roses but a rugged terrain fraught with turbulence. But this turbulence isn’t an indication of divine absence; rather, it stands as a testament to the fact that any adventure worth having will inevitably be fraught with challenges.
Consider the whirlwind of reactions Paul and Silas faced. In Thessalonica, some Jews were persuaded and eagerly joined Paul and Silas, while others, filled with jealousy, formed a mob against them. Paul’s message was challenging, confronting, and counter-cultural. Yet, it wasn’t meant to comfort but to provoke, to stir hearts from a place of complacency to passionate pursuit.
The world today might sometimes seem turbulent and hostile to the message of Christ, reminiscent of the discomfort Paul experienced. As followers of Christ, we, too, might feel the sting of rejection, the weight of misunderstandings, and the fierce winds of opposition. However, it’s during these storms of life that our faith is both tested and fortified.
We must remember that the cornerstone of our faith isn’t built upon comfort, but upon Christ. Let’s remind ourselves , the central message isn’t rooted in fear, but in unwavering faith. For as Paul ventured into territories unknown, he didn’t go unarmed. His weapon? Unshakeable faith. His shield? Unyielding obedience.
In the vast array of challenges, we should not let fear drown out the resounding message of faith. Just as Paul pressed on despite the discomfort, we are called to continue our journey, keeping faith and obedience as our constant companions. For though the road might be bumpy, the destination is glorious.
Historically we have the testimony that as we bravely face these challenges the awesome power of the Holy Spirit becomes evident in our midst. We see the fulfilment of Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.” Signs and wonders, miracles and healings, serve as divine affirmations that God’s Kingdom is actively advancing here on Earth. They are tangible manifestations of God’s answering our earnest prayer: “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
It is important that we, as the Church in every message preached in these difficult days leave our people stirred in faith and not alarmed. It’s true that this turbulent adventure, while we’ll have suffering, but we’ll also have salvation. We’ll witness lost souls coming to Christ, chains breaking, and healing flowing like never before. This isn’t just the future of the Church; it’s the present reality, for God is building His Church here and now.
In the end, Paul’s missionary journey and the subsequent reactions it bought about underline an unchanging truth that we are already aware of: Living for Jesus is an adventure, one with its fair share of turbulence.
Despite that, through every high and low, every success and setback, the message remains resolute: God is with us, and God is for us.
The journey, no matter how tumultuous, is worth it.