So yesterday we talked about great blessings that the early church experienced. They saw the Lord do great signs and wonders through them. They experienced great joy. They also were able to see great numbers come to Christ by faith.
Yes, we all like the great blessings. But let’s look today at the other side and be prepared to face the great obstacles.
One obstacle we need to be prepared to face is found in Acts chapter eight, verse one. And Saul approved of his execution, and there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem. Persecution, sometimes as part of our service for God. Not everybody is going to like the work of God. In fact, there will be opposition. We need to be prepared to face that persecution.
Secondly, in Acts chapter number nine, it tells us this in verse 16, for I will show him how great things he must suffer for my namesake. We need to be willing to suffer for the cause of Christ.
You know, a lot of people want to serve the Lord, when it feels good. They want to serve God when everything goes smoothly, and when they’re seeing the results they want to see, and they are benefiting from it. But true believers are going to serve God in spite of great difficulties.
Yes, there will be times when like the Apostle Paul, we will suffer greatly for the calls of Christ. Are you willing to do that? That’s the kind of service that God wants us to render.
The third thing we need to be prepared for is this. It’s found in Acts chapter 11, starting with verse 28, and one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit, that there would be a great famine over all the world. This took place in the days of Claudius. So the disciples determined everyone according to his ability to send relief to the brothers living in Judea.
And so we see here, that there would be great famine. Yes, there are times when we are called upon by the Lord to do without. I know many times in our churches, we think, oh, if we just had more resources, we can do more for the Lord. No, those times of famine, Teach us how much we need to depend on the Lord, and what great things he can do if we will listen to him and lean into him in our time of need.
So be ready. Opposition may come, but if we want the great blessings, we have to be prepared to face the great opposition.