Monday, October 24 – Acts 12:1-5
Now about that time Herod the king laid hands on some who belonged to the church, to do them harm. And he had James the brother of John executed with a sword. When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter as well. (Now these were the days of Unleavened Bread.) When he had arrested him, he put him in prison, turning him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending only after the Passover to bring him before the people. So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made to God intensely by the church.
When you hear about tragedy in the world, how do you respond? All of us respond differently whether we are struck with grief, avoidance, or anger. In this passage, the church was confronted with tragedy as they lost two of their leaders to death or prison. Amid this terrible suffering, something beautiful took place. Instead tearing the church apart, these occurrences brought them together. Instead of ignoring the painful reality, they confronted it face to face, not through complaining or anger but by bringing it before God in prayer.
The early church’s response in that moment was vital. They confronted evil by calling upon the One they knew could carry the burden. What if this was our response when we hit difficult times in our community and in our world? Instead of allowing our emotions and opinions divide us or trip us up, may we be anchored in our need for God and trust Him with the outcome. There still will be painful moments and grief to handle, but we can trust God who is faithful to guide us as we look to Him.
- How do you interact with other followers of Jesus when you hear about tragedy in the world?
- How can our response to the difficult realities of the world show people who Jesus is?
- Pray for the persecuted church around the world, that God would renew their strength and guide them as they show faithfulness to Jesus.