Trouble and Tribulations

Read:

". . . Peter passed through all the regions, . . ." Acts 9:32

Reflect:

The church has been guilty of over-promising and under-delivering. We throw around phrases like "God is for us," "God is in control," "God’s strong name is our help," to those mired in case histories of family tragedy, career disappointments coupled with a pessimistic world view. It's like waving a red cape in front of a bull.

In the fall out and failures of life, we are expected to explain God to His disappointed clients. But God doesn't need us to defend Him. He doesn't need us as press secretary or public relations agents. We may never have the exact answers to "Why did this happen to me?" "Why do I feel left in the lurch?" 

The proper work for the Christian is witness, not apology. We don't try to argue for God, explain Him, we simply show Him to others. We are to look at heaven and bring the breathtaking scene to hellish earth. The two miracles of Peter show us exactly what is required.

Emulate the example of Jesus

The words spoken by Peter were almost identical to those spoken by Jesus, in both Lydda and Capernaum, "Get up, take up your mat and go home." Peter was following what he'd seen Jesus do and say. 

Performed by the power of Jesus

Peter didn't try to use his chairman or boisterous voice to bring healing. He knew his own ability wouldn't be enough to get the job done. Instead he said "Jesus Christ heals you." 

Signals salvation from Jesus

Recovery and resurrection were both visible signs of the new life found in Christ Jesus. Life which we sinners are raised up from. 

Gives glory to Jesus 

In both cases, the people in the towns where these miracles were performed all heard the word, believed the signs of these supernatural acts, all placed their belief in Jesus.

When we dig into the trouble and tribulations of others, what we find is God is there in the details and conflicts. Faith is developed out of the most difficult things of life, not the easiest. 

Respond:

How can you bring heaven to earth today?