Welcome Home – 40 Day Fast Devotion #22
When It All Falls Apart
Matt Destry – Communications Pastor
But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.
Have you ever felt like everything is against you? Like you just can’t catch a break? You know that there’s lots going on, and everyone is fighting a battle, but sometimes you just wish that things came easy for you once in a while.
We rejoin the story in Acts 8 when everything is going wrong for the Church. Stephen has been murdered, and now Saul is destroying all that has been built over the past few chapters. The Greek phrase translated ‘destroy’ here sometimes described the ravages of wild animals – and this is what we have here; the wild, unrestrained attack of a man who was set on destruction of this movement.
With the benefit of hindsight, we know what becomes of one of the church’s greatest enemies; and we also know that the church has always faced opposition. It’s not abnormal; all over the world people are facing challenges because of their faith in Christ. What’s amazing is that God uses these challenges to cause growth in the church. This growth is seen both in spirit and in numbers. Even when the church for safety reasons, goes underground.
Always, as we follow Jesus and pattern our lives after Him, it matters not what trials we face, but how we respond to them. We will see that these present sufferings cause an amazing expansion in the church, as they trust God more deeply than ever before. God uses these trials to expand the church’s reach and influence. We can count on God to do the same in our lives as we respond to challenges in our lives with trust and obedience.