Monday, March 7 – Acts 4:23-28
When they had been released, they went to their own companions and reported everything that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard this, they raised their voices to God with one mind and said, “Lord, it is You who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything that is in them, who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said, ‘Why were the nations insolent, And the peoples plotting in vain? The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the Lord and against His Christ.’ For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and purpose predestined to occur.”
Is there any advice from a loved one that comes to mind in times of trouble? Certain phrases or words of wisdom can be so ingrained into our minds that repeating them to ourselves becomes second nature. During the moment recorded in today’s text, after a wonderful meeting and then a defeating meeting with the council, the apostles came together with their companions and reminded themselves of two things: who God is and the Word He had given them. Even in rejection, they didn’t point the finger at God, asking Him why things didn’t go differently. Instead, they surrendered to Him, anchoring themselves in the fact that He is much greater than the hardship they were facing. The words they spoke were rooted in Scripture, making them even more powerful than just proclaiming things they felt about who God was. As they prayed, they reminded themselves of what the Word said by quoting Psalm 2:1-2.
There are so many phrases (helpful and unhelpful) that we can turn to in times of struggle, but how often is our response anchoring ourselves in God’s truth and His Word? If we truly believe that the Bible is true, it will be our anchor above our feelings. Wherever you stand in your faith—questioning, joyful, optimistic, or hurting—there is hope to be found in Scripture. As we gather, we can sharpen one another, reminding and being reminded of the hope we hold in Christ. Just as we remember good advice like its second nature, we should come to the point in our faith where we can face struggles and remind ourselves of who God is, from His Word, no matter how we feel.
• What has been one verse you have held onto during your current season? Where can you write this out and place it to remind yourself of God’s truth until it becomes second nature?
• Think about the people in your church family. Who is someone you may be able to serve and encourage in the Word?
• Pray and ask God to help you come to value Him and His Word on a deeper level than you currently do.