By Ross Freeman
“But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren. Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.” (Act 14:2-3)
There are many people in society who are ready to hear, receive and accept God’s message of truth. However, there are those who not only disbelieve but disbelieve willfully, even perversely and are utterly unpersuadable as Paul informs us in this passage.
This type of behavior is used to stir up and incite people against Christians and the message that we bring. This in itself is a test of our courage and faith to trust God as we stand in the face of this adversity. This is a poisonous infection of bitterness, lies, doubt, even hatred, in an attempt to turn others against us, our message and, ultimately, eternal life.
Paul gives the answer to these attacks by informing us to speak the word boldly, confident in spirit, with open frankness and bold assurance; knowing God is with us. After all, He did promise never to leave or forsake us, and is still Jehovah – Ra – Ah our shepherd and protector. Putting the icing on the cake are the awesome faith building words of Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Verse three talks about being a witness, bringing a testimony, or to give a good report. The good thing here is we do not have to do all the work. We just have to step out in the grace of God, using His divine influence upon the hearts of men in a cheerful rejoicing joy, because it is the Lord who speaks through us through the power of the Holy Spirit as we step out in faith. Jesus brings our attention to this in Matthew 10:19-20, where He informs us, “But when they deliver you up, do not worry about or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak. For it is not you who speaks, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.”
As we allow the Holy Spirit to do His work through us, we will see signs or supernatural miracles of all kinds in people’s lives. We will see unexplainable and supernatural wonders, extraordinary occurrences and events that are so unusual people will stand dumbfounded and in awe.
One thing is for sure, God’s signs and wonders are a perfect balance of touching man’s intellect, emotions and will, compounding him to act one way or another.
It is always a mystery why so many people see amazing things of God and still react in the negative. But that’s between them and God and one thing is for sure, God never gives up. He will continually bring His message of salvation into the life of unbelievers. Remember, just because you did not see any results in these people’s lives does not mean that you have failed. You are part of the chain that leads to salvation and you are counted just as worthy as the person who finally leads someone into the Kingdom. So rejoice in being a member of God’s Chain Gang.
To help you with this devotion, it would be edifying to read our base scripture from the Message Version of the Bible.
“The message convinced both Jews and non Jews – and not just a few, either. But the unbelieving Jews worked up a whispering campaign against Paul and Barnabas, sowing mistrust and suspicion in the minds of the people in the Street. The two apostles were there a long time, speaking freely, openly, and confidently as they presented the clear evidence of God’s gifts, God corroborating their work with miracles and wonders.” (Acts 14:2-3, Message)