Yes and No
“. . . rejoicing they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.” Acts 5:41
Yes and no. These two responses are always held in tension within the life of a believer. We’ve been granted equal power to say “yes” or “no” to God. Either we willingly live in agreement with the will of God, or we choose to live in dissonance to His desire and design for the destiny of our life.
The disciples had given God their resounding, unconditional “yes!” to further His ministry and message. When they stood preaching in the courts, or confronting the religious leaders, their primary concern was not winning a case; it was furthering the case of the gospel. They saw every act of opposition, not as a reason to say “no,” but to constantly, confidently, reaffirm their allegiance to the Lord Jesus.
The Apostles’ passionate “yes” to God caused them to rejoice when they were flogged for proclaiming the power of Christ. The beatings did not discourage their outreach, it only propelled it forward with greater intensity. Such responses are foreign to us. Usually when facing ridicule for the gospel, we become angry or resentful because we think we should be supported and affirmed for our faith at all times.
This has never been the case for the men and women in the Bible. They encountered seasons where they looked anything but victorious. In fact, many experienced great opposition, struggle, and suffering. But, in every case, they reaffirmed their “yes” to God. They believed their temporary defeats were contributing to winning a great victory for God’s Kingdom.
Giving our sacred “yes” to God is important. It is vital to the advancement of the message of Jesus, especially in difficult days, where it’s difficult to sustain courage in a culture so committed to external appearances.
We are mistaken to imagine we are immune from suffering. We do face shame, though it may be more subtle than in other parts of the world. We can retreat into living in a spirit of “no,” but resistance to the way of the Lord cuts off the generous flow of the Spirit. We soon find there’s no joy and no buoyancy in relation to His life in us.
How important to you is the gospel of Christ and honor of His name? Is your life saying “yes” or “no” to Him?