Bumps in the Road
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 136:10-22 | 2 Kings 1:1-2:25 | Acts 13:42-14:7 | Proverbs 17:19-21
Today’s Scripture Focus: Acts 13:42-14:7
“Some of the Jews convinced the most respected women and leading men of the town that their precious way of life was about to be destroyed. Alarmed, they turned on Paul and Barnabas and forced them to leave. Paul and Barnabas shrugged their shoulders and went on to the next town, Iconium, brimming with joy and the Holy Spirit, two happy disciples” (Acts 13:50-52 The Message).
The narrow road of life in Christ can be a bumpy road sometimes. But even then, we can find joy in Christ.
Paul and Barnabas got a mixed reaction as they preached. The crowds showed up, but so did the persecution. Jealous religious leaders stirred up the crowds against Paul and Barnabas.
Gentiles seemed to be the ones most responsive to the good news, clarifying Paul’s primary calling of taking the message to the Gentiles. “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth” (Acts 13:47, ESV).
But things got rough. Jewish leaders incited riots and persecution. Eventually all they could do was shake the dust off their feet and move on to the next city.
But the mixed reaction, the opposition, and even the persecution could not steal their joy. The gladness found in our relationship with Christ and bubbling up from within by the Holy Spirit can not be taken away by mere circumstances. They went on their way “brimming with joy and the Holy Spirit.”
The road can get bumpy sometimes, but Jesus is always there with you. Depend on him to bring you joy by the Holy Spirit. Depend on him to give you strength to press on in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Heavenly Father, as we journey this bumpy road fill us with the joy of the Holy Spirit. When we are received well by others, let us rejoice. When we are rejected give us the strength to shake off the dust and move on. In it all, may we brim with joy in the Holy Spirit. Amen.